Collection Artwork
2000 1 44
divination board (opon Ifa)
20th century
object size: 3/4 x 16 3/4 x 12 in.
Gift of Bill and Gale Simmons
Nigeria, Africa

Object Label

Anthropology and ethnography museums host, preserve, and exhibit objects considered representative of cultures. They serve the disciplines that study human societies and cultures, showcasing how people live differently. Usually from colonized regions, these cultures typically differ from the societies in which the museums are located. Many of their collections grew considerably during the colonial enterprises of European countries.

These museums collect objects understood to have been used by a certain society; an object’s primary value lies in the information it provides about the culture that created it. Apart from housing objects, these museums preserve information and other materials that contextualize them. In their displays, the museum’s omniscient voice has traditionally spoken in the name of objects and cultures.

From the exhibition: (Un)known Lives of Objects: From Nigeria to the Tang Collection (September 28 – December 28, 2013)

Ongoing Research

Research on our collection is ongoing. If you have resources you’d like to share, please contact Associate Curator Rebecca McNamara.

Learn more

(Un)known Lives of Objects: From Nigeria to the Tang Collection
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