ListMoto - Ifá

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is a religion and system of divination and refers to the verses of the literary corpus known as the Odu Ifá. Orunmila is identified as the Grand Priest, as he is who revealed divinity and prophecy to the world. Babalawos or Iyanifas use either the divining chain known as Opele, or the sacred palm or kola nuts called Ikin, on the wooden divination tray called Opon Ifá. Ifá
is practiced throughout the Americas, West Africa, and the Canary Islands, in the form of a complex religious system, and plays a critical role in the traditions of Santería, Candomblé, Palo, Umbanda, Vodou, and other Afro-American faiths, as well as in some traditional African religions.


1 History 2 Yoruba canon 3 Igbo canon 4 Ewe canon 5 Odù Ifá 6 International recognition 7 Notable Followers 8 See also 9 References 10 Further reading

History[edit] The 16 principle system seems to have its earliest history in West Africa. Each Niger-Congo
ethnic group has its own myths of origin; Yoruba mythology
Yoruba mythology
suggests that it was founded by Orunmila in Ile Ife when he initiated himself and then he initiated his students, Akoda and Aseda. Other myths suggest that it was brought to Ile Ife
Ile Ife
by Setiu, a Nupe man who settled in Ile Ife. According to the book The History of the Yorubas from the Earliest of Times to the British Protectorate (1921) by Nigerian historian Samuel Johnson and Obadiah Johnson, it was Arugba, the mother of Onibogi, the 8th Alaafin of Oyo who introduced Oyo to Ifa in the late 1400s.[1] She initiated the Alado of Ato and conferred on him the rites to initiate others. The Alado, in turn, initiated the priests of Oyo and that was how Ifa came to be in the Oyo empire. Igbo mythology
Igbo mythology
suggests that Dahomey Kings noted that the system of Afá was brought by a diviner known as Gogo from eastern Nigeria.[2] Orunmila came to establish an oral literary corpus incorporating stories and experiences of priests and their clients along with the results. This odu corpus emerges as the leading documentation on the Ifá
tradition to become a historical legacy. Yoruba canon[edit] In Yorubaland, divination gives priests unreserved access to the teachings of Orunmila. Eshu
is the one said to lend ashe to the oracle during provision of direction and or clarification of counsel. Eshu
is also the one that holds the keys to ones ire, thus acts as Oluwinni (ones Creditor), he can grant ire or remove it.[3] Ifá
divination rites provide an avenue of communication to the spiritual realm and the intent of ones destiny. Igbo canon[edit] In Igboland, Ifá
is known as Afá, and is performed by specialist called Dibia. The Dibia is considered a doctor and specializes in the use of herbs for healing and transformation.[4] Ewe canon[edit] Among the Ewe people
Ewe people
of southern Togo
and southeast Ghana, Ifá
is known as Afá, where the Vodun spirits come through and speak. In many of their Egbes, it is Alaundje who is honored as the first Bokono to have been taught how to divine the destiny of humans using the holy system of Afá. The Amengansi are the living oracles who are higher than a bokono. A priest who is not a bokono is known as Hounan, similar to Houngan, a male priest in Haitian Vodou, a derivative religion of Vodun, the religion of the Ewe. Odù Ifá[edit]


There are sixteen major books in Odu Ifá[5] literary corpus. When combined there are total of 256 Odu (a collection of sixteen, each of which has sixteen alternatives ⇔ 16^2, or 4^4) believed to reference all situations, circumstances, actions and consequences in life based on the uncountable ese (poetic tutorials) relative to the 256 Odu coding. These form the basis of traditional Yoruba spiritual knowledge and are the foundation of all Yoruba divination systems. Ifá proverbs, stories, and poetry are not written down but passed down orally from one babalawo to another. International recognition[edit] The Ifá
system was added in 2005 by UNESCO
to its list of the "Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity".[6] Notable Followers[edit]

21 Savage, American rapper from Atlanta, Georgia. Wande Abimbola, Nigerian linguist

See also[edit]

Orunmila Babalawo Iyalawo


^ Johnson, Samuel (1921). History of the Yorubas from the Earliest of Times to the Beginning of the British Protectorate. Nigeria Bookshops.  ^ "Afa in the African Diaspora".  ^ [1] Archived September 25, 2015, at the Wayback Machine. ^ "Igbo Medicine".  ^ Sixteen major 'books in Odù Ifá
Archived July 2, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. ^ "Ifa Divination
System". Retrieved 5 July 2017. 

Further reading[edit]

Chief FAMA Fundamentals of the Yoruba Religion (Orisa Worship) ISBN 0-9714949-0-8 Chief FAMA Practitioners' Handbook for the Ifa Professional ISBN 0-9714949-3-2 Chief FAMA Fundamentos de la Religion Yoruba (Adorando Orisa) ISBN 0-9714949-6-7 Fama, Chief (1994). Sixteen mythological stories of Ifá
= (Ìtàn Ífá mẹ́rìndínlógún). San Bernardino, CA: Ilé Ọ̀rúnmìlà Communications. ISBN 9780964424722.  Chief FAMA FAMA'S EDE AWO (Orisa Yoruba Dictionary) ISBN 0-9644247-8-9 Chief FAMA The Rituals (novela) ISBN 0-9644247-7-0 Awo Fasina Falade Ifa: The Key to Its Understanding ISBN 0-9663132-3-2 Chief Adedoja Aluko The Sixteen (16) Major Odu Ifa from Ile-Ife ISBN 978-37376-6-X Chief Hounon-Amengansie, Mama Zogbé (Vivian Hunter Hindrew) Mami Wata: Africa's Ancient God/dess Unveiled Vol. I ISBN 978-0-615-17936-0 Chief S. Solagbade Popoola library, INC Ifa Dida: Vol 1 (EjiOgbe - Orangun Meji)[permanent dead link], ISBN 978-0-9810013-1-9 Chief S. Solagbade Popoola library, INC Ifa Dida: Vol 2 (Ogbe Oyeku - Ogbe Ofun)[permanent dead link], ISBN 978-1-926538-12-9 Chief S. Solagbade Popoola & Fakunle Oyesanya Ikunle Abiyamo - The ASE of Motherhood[permanent dead link] ISBN 978-09810013-0-2 C. Osamaro Ibie Ifism the Complete Works of Orunmila ISBN 1-890157-05-8 William R. Bascom: Ifa Divination: Communication Between Gods and Men in West Africa
West Africa
ISBN 0-253-20638-3 William R. Bascom: Sixteen Cowries: Yoruba Divination
from Africa to the New World ISBN 0-253-20847-5 Rosenthal, J. ‘Possession Ecstasy & Law in Ewe Voodoo" ISBN 0-8139-1805-7 Maupoil, Bernard. "La Geomancie L'ancienne Côte des Esclaves Alapini, Julien. Les noix sacrées. Etude complète de Fa-Ahidégoun génie de la sagesse et de la divination au Dahomey Dr. Ron Eglash (1997) American Anthropologist Recursion in ethnomathematics, Chaos Theory
Chaos Theory
in West African divination. Bàbálàwó Ifatunwase Tratados Enciclopédicos de Ifá
(Colección Alafundé), ISBN 978-0-9810387-04

v t e

Afro-American religion


Abakuá Brazilian Macumba Candomblé
(Bantu Jejé Ketu) Cuban Vodú Dominican Vudú Haitian Vodou Kumina Louisiana Voodoo Obeah Palo Quimbanda Santería Spiritual Baptist Umbanda Winti

Diverse roots

Ifá Orisha (Yoruba) Loa
(Fon and Ewe) Alusi
(Igbo) Winti (Akan) Nkisi
(Kongo) Christianity

Catholicism Protestantism

Native American religion

v t e

Yoruba religion
Yoruba religion


Supreme Creator (God)

Olorun Iya Nla


Elegua Eshu Ogun Oshosi Osun Ori Orunmila Obatala Shango Aganju Yemoja Oshun Oya Oba Osanyin Babalu Aye Olokun Orisha Oko Erinle Oshumare Ibeji Oba (Orisha) Yewa

Countries of development

Nigeria Cuba Brazil Trinidad


Medicine Music Itan Art Ogboni Gelede Iyami Aje Egungun Babalawo Iyalawo Calendar Letra del año

Sacred sites

Ile Ife Oyo Osun-Osogbo Yorubaland

Legendary figures

Oduduwa Oranyan Moremi Ajasoro

v t e

Methods of divination


Ailuromancy Alectryomancy Augury Myomancy Myrmomancy Ornithomancy


I Ching Rhapsodomancy Bible Homer Virgil


Crystal gazing Oculomancy Catoptromancy Hydromancy


Astragalomancy Belomancy Cartomancy Favomancy Fortune-telling Kumalak Merindinlogun Molybdomancy Obi divination Opele Opon Ifá Rhabdomancy Runic magic Tarotology


Necromancy Taghairm


Bone divination Cephalomancy Chiromancy Omphalomancy Podomancy Rumpology Scapulimancy


Apophenia Astrology Esotericism Ifá Technomancy Western esotericism

v t e

Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity/Africa

Aka music Chopi timbila Garifuna culture Afounkaha Gbofe Gelede Gule Wamkulu Ifá Ijele Masquerade Kamablon
re-roofing Kankurang Manden Charter Mbende Jerusarema Sosso Bala Ugandan barkcloth
Ugandan barkcloth
making Vimbuza healing dance Yaaral & Degal Zafimaniry
woodcrafting Zambia