This is a symbol of the inner head and would have been created when a child was born, believing that its destiny was predetermined. This is why an individual's head is highly respected and revered. These were kept in an Ile Ori for protection. This is unusual as these are usually packed with a mix of clay, sand and other ingredients, mixed up by a diviner. This has none of the mixture and the top lifts off.
Provenance: The Reverent Edward Thomas Pakenham, Church Missionary Society Superintendent. Stationed in Owo, Oshogbo and Lagos 1909-1921.
A Yoruba cowrie shell ibori or Ile Ori and another miniature example.