Building a Place of Harmony

From the exhibit Exploring Objects, Fears, and the Future

Divination compass (luopan), China.

Circa early 1900s. 9-13025.

This magnetic compass is related to feng shui, the practice of divination and arrangement of space for living in harmony. The compass itself represents the cosmos. The markings on the compass help the practitioner align time and place, for instance, determining the ideal location and design of a house in relation to its surroundings. One may also use it to locate lost items and predict aspects of the future.

Photo: David Garnick