Awonifa

Study the Teaching of Ifa and the Orisha's

Yoruba Fokelore

Fishing Baskets

Across a certain river a poor fisherman set a row of stakes, and on each stake was fastened a basket in which he hoped to trap the fishes as they swam down the river.

But his luck was very bad, and every evening, as he went from basket to basket in his canoe, he was disappointed to find that no fishes, or only a few very small ones, had been caught.

This made him very sad, and he was forced to live frugally.

One day he found a stranger lying asleep on the river-bank. Instead of killing the stranger, the fisherman spoke kindly to him, and invited him to share his evening meal.

The stranger appeared very pleased and ate and drank, but spoke no word at all, The fisherman thought: He speaks another language.

Quite suddenly the stranger vanished, and only the remains of the meal convinced the fisherman that he had not been dreaming.

The next evening when he went to empty his baskets, he was astonished to find them overflowing with fish. He could not account for his good fortune, and his surprise was even greater when the same thing occurred the next day. On the third day the baskets were again quite full, and when the fisherman came to the last basket he saw that it contained a single monstrous fish.

Do you not know me? said the fish.

Indeed no, Mr. Fish. I have never seen you before! declared the fisherman, nearly upsetting the canoe in his astonishment.

Have you forgotten the stranger whom you treated so courteously? went on the fish. It was I, and I am the King of the fishes. I am grateful for your kindness and intend to reward you.

Then the fish jumped into the river with a great splash. But ever afterwards the fishing-baskets were full every evening, and the fisherman became rich and prosperous.

Olofin and the Mouse

A Famous Olofin, or Yoruba King, was once imprisoned by his enemies in a hut without any door or roof-opening, and left to die of starvation.

As he sat gloomily on the ground, the Olofin saw a little mouse running across the hut. He seized his knife, exclaiming: Rather than die of hunger, I will eat this mouse!

But on second thoughts he put away his knife, saying: Why should I kill the mouse? I shall starve later on, just the same.

To his surprise the mouse addressed him in the following words:

Noble King! Greetings to you on your generosity! You have spared my life, and in return I will spare yours.

The mouse then disappeared into a hole in the ground, and returned some time afterwards followed by twenty or thirty other mice, all bearing grains of corn, gari, and small fruits.

For five days they fed him in this manner, and on the sixth day the hut was opened by the Olofins captors, who were astonished to find him still alive and in good health.

This Olofin must have a powerful charm! they declared. It appears that he can live without eating or drinking!

Thereupon they released him, gave him a war-canoe, and let him return in freedom to his own country.

Choice of Destiny

Oriseeku, Orilemere and Afuwape , These three were about to begin their earth-bound journey from their pre-natal existence. The last rite to perform was the choice of ori (destiny). They had a warning from Orisa-nla to go straight to the house of Ajala without changing course. The first two did as they were told while Afuwape, the son of Orunmila decided to see his father before making a choice. It turned out to be a good decision because in his fathers house, he met two of his fathers divination priests who advised him to offer some sacrifice. He did, and the result was good for him. The other two were not assisted in their choice, but Afuwape was assisted because as a result of the sacrifice he performed, he had directions on what to do to receive favor from Ajala, the maker and custodian of inner heads. On their arrival in the world, the other two noticed that things were going well for Afuwape while they were having difficult times. They reacted with a song:

Emi o mo bi olori n yan ri o
M ba lo yan temi
N go mo bi Afuwape yan ri o
M ba lo yan temi

I do not know where people with good destiny picked theirs
I would have picked mine there too
I do not know where Afuwape picked his good destiny
I would have gone there

To which Afuwape replied:

Eyin o mo bi olori n yan ri o
E ba lo yan teyin
Ibikan na la gbe yan ri o
Kadara o papo ni.

You do not know where good destiny is picked
You would have gone there for yours
We picked our destinies from the same source
Only their contents are not identical.

Ifa Related

UNESCO Proclamation

Ifa Divination System in Nigeria The Ifa divination system, which makes use of an extensive corpus of texts, is practised among Yoruba communities. The word Ifa refers to the mystical figure Ifa or Orunmila, regarded by the Yoruba people as the deity of wisdom and intellectual development. In the twelfth century, the city of Ile-Ife, located in the Osun region of the South-west of Nigeria, emerged as the cultural and political centre of this community. It is also practised by the African diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbean. img In contrast to other forms of divination in the region that employ spirit mediumship, Ifa divination does not rely on a person having oracular powers but rather on a system of signs that are interpreted by a diviner, the Ifa priest orbabalawo, literally “the priest’s father”. The Ifa divination system is applied whenever an important individual or collective decision has to be made. The Ifa literary corpus, called odu, consists of 256 parts, which are subdivided into verses called ese, whose exact number is unknown as it is in constant growth (ther are around 800ese per edu). Each one of the 256 odu has its specific divination signature, which is determined through a procedure held by thebabalawo using sacred palm-nuts and a divination chain. The ese, considered as the most important part of Ifa divination, are chanted by the priests in poetic language. The ese reflect Yoruba history, language, beliefs, cosmovision and contemporary social issues. The knowledge of Ifa has been preserved within Yoruba communities and transmitted among Ifa priests. Under the influence of colonial rule, traditional beliefs and practices were discriminated. The Ifa priests, of whom most are already advanced in age, have only little means to maintain the tradition, to transmit their complex knowledge and train future practitioners. Thus, there is an increasing lack of interest among the youth and the Yoruba people in practising and consulting Ifa divination, which goes hand-in-hand with growing intolerance towards divination systems in general.

UNESCO website

Dictamentos Para Los Siguentes de Ifa/Ocha

Dictámenes para nuestros asociados practicantes de la Regla de Ocha y el Culto a IFA cubano.

1- No permitir que nadie les cambie lo que con tanto sacrifico en ceremoniales se les realizan en Cuba o por sus descendientes en cualquier latitud del mundo.

2- Comprobar si las personas que comparten con Uds. en realidad están iniciada bajo esta línea de religión cubana de origen africano, o si están iniciadas de alguna otra forma que no sea la que nos fuera legada por nuestros ancestros.


3- No hacer iniciaciones ya sean de IFA o de Ocha en menos de 7 días rituales, ni compartir con personas que se les inicie de esa forma.

4- Cuando el Oba (Oriate) diga en ita de Ocha, por mediación del odu que lo expresa, Absuelto por falta de pruebas, hay que desmontar el trono, y la persona que se está iniciando deberá permanecer en la casa los 7 días reglamentarios que exigen este tipo de ceremonia.

5- Se ruega no entrar en contradicciones ni estimular los cuestionamientos ni las inconformidades con personas que deseen seguir otras líneas de ceremoniales.

6- No permitir en nuestras casas en los días de rituales, opiniones ni personas que no comulguen con nuestra fe heredada de nuestros antepasados.

7- Respetar todos los ceremoniales que hemos venido realizando por enseñanza de nuestros mayores.

8- Deberán guiarse única y exclusivamente por sus mayores y a la falta de ellos por aquellas personas que uds. designen a tal fin.

9- Es importante que todos nuestros asociados tanto nacionales como extranjeros conozcan que ninguna de las gestiones, como son recibir información, cartas para transportación de animales, cartas para solicitar cambio de visa en inmigración, constancia de asociado para distintos trámites que se soliciten ante los representantes de la institución en cualquiera de los Ilé ocha de las distintas provincias incluida Ciudad de La Habana (sede nacional), no tienen que ser remuneradas, se insiste en que ningún miembro, ni ejecutivo de la asociación está autorizado para pedir dinero a ningún asociado para estos fines y los asociados nacionales deben estar actualizados en su pago como miembros y al igual que los residentes en el exterior, los que deben ser inscritos y actualizados en la sede nacional única entidad autorizada para llevar a cabo estas funciones.

10- Cualquier duda pueden escribir o acudir a nuestro centro para consultar a cualquiera de los 7 Consejos de Sacerdotes Mayores de la República de Cuba con los que cuenta nuestra institución.

11- Aconsejamos a todos los queridos hermanos, que los ceremoniales y consultas que les vayan a realizar deberán ser directamente con las personas que uds hayan escogido y que sea de frente, personalmente, es decir se deben evitar la intervención de computadoras con adivinaciones falsas y analizar bien a quien escogemos como futuros padrinos, porque de eso depende en gran medida el buen desenvolvimiento de nuestras vidas, ya que la adquisición de estos padrinos debe ser para toda la vida, una mala elección traería consigo la decepción y la confusión, por lo que no nos apresuremos al hacer esta elección de la que podamos lamentarnos el día de mañana.

12- No pretendemos hacer cambios, sino usar lo legítimo del legado dejado en nuestras conciencias, y no aceptemos que nadie pueda inmiscuirse en nuestras decisiones que son una realidad.

13- Sólo roguemos porque se nos permita llevar este legado sin que pretendan hacernos el más mínimo reclamo de algo que por derecho propio pertenece a los cubanos y a sus descendientes religiosos.

14-No queremos que nadie en particular se sienta en la obligación de estar con nuestra
institución, y nuestros consejos de mayores, lo que pedimos que cada persona se sienta segura de donde quiere estar, que analice y que piense, pues para estar con nuestros mayores lo único que ellos exigen es el respeto a los lineamientos emitidos por ellos, que no son otros que los de humildad, amor y lealtad a nuestra fe legada por nuestros antepasados.


15-Es bueno aclarar que el Presidente de la Institución y su Junta Directiva, solo son un órgano
Ejecutivo el cual deberá hacer valer y ejecutar las decisiones de los distintos consejos de mayores con que cuenta la institución, sin que está junta pueda revocar ninguna sanción o decisión, que fuese emitida por los distintos consejos de Mayores con que cuenta la asociación. . .

Rogamos a Olodumare y sus panteón de Orichas, que les proporcionen, salud, tranquilidad, desenvolvimiento y una larga y feliz vida en compañía de sus seres queridos.


Firmado.
a) Consejo de Sacerdotes Mayores de IFA de la República de Cuba.
b) Consejo de Sacerdotes Obateros (Oriaté) Mayores de la República de Cuba.
c) Consejo de Sacerdotisas Iyalochas Mayores de la República de Cuba.
d) Consejo de Sacerdotes Babalochas Mayores de la República de Cuba.
e) Consejo de Sacerdotes Jefes de Cabildos de la República de Cuba
f) Consejo de Sacerdotes Mayores Arará de la República de Cuba.
g) Consejo de Sacerdotes Presidente de los Ile Ochas (casa de santo) de cada Provincia.

Counsel of Cuban Elder Ifa Priests

The Counsel of Elder Priests of Ifa of the Republic of Cuba, has expressed,
determined and required:

1- That we do not accept nor will we ever accept the Initiation of women inside
the worship of Ifa, that not be the ceremony of the Ikofa of Orunmila.

2- That we will not accept in any of our houses and calling extensively to all
in the worship of the Rule Of Ocha/Ifa, the presence of these women that say to
be Iyanifa or Oluwos and even less those Babalawos that have lent themselves for
this farce.

3- That consequently we will publish in our media the names of the people that
have
participated in this fault.

This document was prepared and carried out in the City of Havana, on the 11 day
of the month of September of 2004 and show faith the signatories.

1- Tomas Rodri guez Contreras ( Ocheleso )
2- Ruben Pineda Mariategui ( Babaegiobe)
3- Jose Manuel Pulido (Ireteunfa )
4- Angel C. Padron Cardenas (Babaegiobe)
5- Jose Cruz Diaz (Osa meji )
6- Norberto Diaz Ugarte ( Babaegiobe )
7- Julian Diaz Ugarte ( Okanarete )
8- Rogelio Diaz Ugarte ( Ojuanishobe )
9- Sergio Clerigo Mederos Soto ( Oturabara )
10-Antonio Sevilla ( Ofun meji )
11-Lucas L. Aberasturir Cabrera ( Obeyono )
12-Ignacio Gabriel Tartabur ( Obetua )
13-Mario Marino Angarica Diaz ( Ochelobe )
14-Lazaro Aldama Alfonso ( Ofunsa )
15-Francisco Escorcia Bringas ( Ogunda Bede )
16- Guido Felipe Cortés Tondique ( Obeidi )

PRIESTS ADVISORS OF THE GREATER COUNCIL

1- Adriano Omar Quevedo Zambrana ( Osaloforbeyo )
2- Carlos M. Gómez Argudà n ( Ocheleso)
3- José Fernando Campos Fernández ( Osaloforbeyo )
4- Luis Céspedes Madrazo ( Okanasa )
5- Nicolás Sánchez Cartaza ( Osaloforbeyo )
6- Aurelio Pablo Chacón ( Ikarete )
7- Raúl Miguel Boffill Quintero (Iretejuany)
8- José Angel Villalonga Vianez ( Osaguory )
9- José Antonio Leal Bernal ( Ofungando)
10- Ricardo Betancourt Ponce ( Iguoryobara)
11- Enrique Malpica Torriente ( Ogbetua)
12- Frank Cabrera ( Obeche )