Merindilogun (Mẹ́rìndílógún, Diloggún in Cuba) uses sixteen cowrie shells. The shells are often shaved back on the convex side and thrown onto a board. The open or the light side is the side with the slit with "teeth" facing upwards. The closed or dark side is with the convex back facing upwards. In the Candomblé Ketu sect of Brazil, the opposite is valid, ie. the open or light side is the shaved-back convex side.

In Yoruba mythology,the number sixteen is very important as it was considered the number of original divinities that established life on earth. Although 16 cowrie shells is the usual number used, it is also performed in some parts of Africa using from only 8 up to 21 cowrie shells.

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