The diviners (ebo, s.obo) use various methods to predict the future and to interpret the past, including Ewawa which enlists the power of Osun. Several small brass castings of figures and animals, coins, cowrie shells, pieces of chalk, ivory etc., are placed in a cup, shaken and emptied onto a drum kept for the purpose. The positions in which they fall are then interpreted.
There is a very similar cup in the Perls Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (K. Ezra, Royal Art of Benin, New York, 1991, p.221, fig.102, where she refers to another illustrated by von Luschan which is in fact the cover of a bowl) and William Fagg identified another of these rare artefacts in the Afrika Museum, Berg-en-Dal. An example in the Museum für Völkerkunde, Vienna, is illustrated by Paula Ben-Amos (The Art of Benin, London, 1980, p.51,fig.52 and 1995, p.75, fig.54)