memory board

Memory boards (lukasa) are objects used by experts in the oral retelling of history in the Luba culture of the Democratic Republic of Congo. A master who has the skill and knowledge to read the memory board will use it as a mnemonic device. Made of small wooden planks, usually rectangular or hourglass-shaped, some memory boards are simply carved in relief; others are first carved and then studded with beads and shells. Web resource here. Video here.

memory boardMemory board. Luba peoples, Democratic Republic of Congo. Wood, beads and metal. 19th-20th century. Brooklyn Museum.