Ifá 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.
2 Yoruba canon
3 Igbo canon
4 Ewe canon
5 Odù Ifá
6 International recognition
7 Notable Followers
8 See also
10 Further reading
The 16 principle system seems to have its earliest history in West
Niger-Congo ethnic group has its own myths of origin;
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 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. 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 suggests that Dahomey Kings
noted that the system of Afá was brought by a diviner known as Gogo
from eastern Nigeria.
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.
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.
also the one that holds the keys to ones ire, thus acts as Oluwinni
(ones Creditor), he can grant ire or remove it.
rites provide an avenue of communication to the spiritual realm and
the intent of ones destiny.
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.
Ewe people of southern
Togo and southeast Ghana,
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.
There are sixteen major books in Odu Ifá 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.
Divination system was added in 2005 by
UNESCO to its list of
the "Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity".
21 Savage, American rapper from Atlanta, Georgia.
Wande Abimbola, Nigerian linguist
^ Johnson, Samuel (1921). History of the Yorubas from the Earliest of
Times to the Beginning of the British Protectorate. Nigeria
^ "Afa in the African Diaspora".
^  Archived September 25, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.
^ "Igbo Medicine".
^ Sixteen major 'books in Odù
Ifá Archived July 2, 2008, at the
Divination System". Retrieved 5 July 2017.
Chief FAMA Fundamentals of the Yoruba Religion (Orisa Worship)
Chief FAMA Practitioners' Handbook for the Ifa Professional
Chief FAMA Fundamentos de la Religion Yoruba (Adorando Orisa)
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)
Chief FAMA The Rituals (novela) ISBN 0-9644247-7-0
Awo Fasina Falade Ifa: The Key to Its Understanding
Chief Adedoja Aluko The Sixteen (16) Major Odu Ifa from Ile-Ife
Chief Hounon-Amengansie, Mama Zogbé (Vivian Hunter Hindrew) Mami
Wata: Africa's Ancient God/dess Unveiled Vol. I
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
William R. Bascom: Ifa Divination: Communication Between Gods and Men
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"
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
Chaos Theory in West African divination.
Bàbálàwó Ifatunwase Tratados Enciclopédicos de
Alafundé), ISBN 978-0-9810387-04
Loa (Fon and Ewe)
Native American religion
Yoruba religion (Orisa-Ifá)
Supreme Creator (God)
Countries of development
Letra del año
Methods of divination
UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible
Cultural Heritage of Humanity/Africa
Ugandan barkcloth making
Vimbuza healing dance
Yaaral & Degal