Drawing from Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett’s Objects of Ethnography (1998), Michel Foucault’s Discipline & Punish (1977), and Wande Abimbola’s Ifá: an exposition of Ifá Literary Corpus (1996), I will argue that the mode the museum displays the Ifá divination tray performs in the object an act of appropriation that constraints its cultural meaning and perpetuates the power of the Western dominant culture. The paper will examine the performativity of the Ifá divination tray outside its original context and what it does to the exhibit. It will also examine the questions of how the meaning of the object as well as its relationship with viewers has been disciplined.
The word Ifá referrers to both the Yoruba god of wisdom, also known as Orunmila, and his divinatory and philosophical system through which the Yoruba people of West Africa may discern their past, present, and future (Abimbola, 1976). It is a traditional bod...
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...7). Discipline and punish : the birth of the prison. New York: Pantheon Books.
III, J. P. (1982). Babalawa. In Y. B. Red (Ed.), (Vol. 3x8, pp. An Ifá diviner or “father of the secret”). Los Angeles: Fowler Museum of Cultural History.
Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, B. (1998). Objects of Ethnography. Destination Culture : Tourism, Museums, and Heritage. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Museum, F. (2010a). Divination Tray (Opan Ifa). In E. T. crp2 (Ed.), (Vol. 2x2). Los Angeles: Fowler Museum of Cultural History.
Museum, F. (2010b). Intersections: World Arts Local Lives. In UCLA (Ed.), (pp. 1-12). Los Angeles: Regents of the University of California.
Rodriguez, G. (2010a). Culture Fix: African Divination Objects. Intersections: World Arts, Local Lives Retrieved November 13, 2011
Rodriguez, G. (2010b). Divination Tray (Opon Ifa). Los Angeles: UCLA Fowler Museum.
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