Baule Mouse Oracle

Within the container there are upper and lower chambers with a hole between the two. There is another hole in the base of the container for the mouse to touch the earth At the time of a consultation, a mouse is placed in the lower chamber. In the upper chamber an inverted tortise shell or small rectangular metal plate is placed with bits of rice chaff on it. Ten narrow metal strips are attached at one end of the shell or plate lying in a parallel pattern. A lid, placed over the container, is removed after a minute or two and the wunnzueyifwe (diviner) "reads" the rearrangement by the mouse of the metal strips (Fischer and Homberger 1985:23-27; Himmelheber 1997:86-88).
The mouse, it is said, ascends to hear the client's explanation of the problem, descends to the hole in the base of the container to consult the earth, and then ascends to the upper chamber and "places" the strips.
The diviner then interprets the new pattern in terms of a received framework of meaning (Fischer and Homberger 1985: 24; Homberger 1996:8, 9).

 

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