16 authentic Yoruba cowrie shells from Nigeria (plus 2 extras) are consecrated and washed with IFA leaves and are ready to be used. I handpick these shells off the beach in Nigeria in a very special place, they are NOT the flimsy cut back shiny ring tops unscrupulous sellers import from the Philippines tourist trinket sellers and pass off as "Yoruba Cowries".
The Ifa divination system and traditional religion of Yorubaland uses 16 cowrie shells, amongst other divination tools. These shells are not the same as the cowrie shells used in the Diaspora. The original divination shells of the Yoruba are much smaller and do not have the backs cut off to create the "open" and "closed" designation. Shells come wrapped in white cloth.