Study the Teachings of Ifa

Odduwa's Migration

We talked about the aboriginal nature of the Yoruban peoples. In this chapter, we shall talk of a possible migration from ancient Egypt. Many traditions point to a fact that an alien group (Egyptians) immigrated to Yoruba land and mixed with the original population.
Many oral traditions are replete with these stories. The Awujale of Ijebu land has shown that the Ijebus are descended from ancient Nubia (a colony of Egypt). He was able to use the evidence of language, body, scarification, coronation rituals that are similar to Nubians’ etc, to show that the Ijebus are descendants of the Nubians. What the present Awujale claimed for the Ijebus, can be authenticated all over Yoruba land. The Awujale even mentioned (2004) that the Itsekiri (an eastern Yoruba dialect) are speaking the original Ijebu language.
Since the Nubians were descended or colonized by the Egyptians, the Ijebu, and by extension, all Yoruba customs, derived from the Egyptian. Many traditional Yorubas have always claimed Egypt as their place of original abode, and that their monarchical tradition derives from the Egyptians’. Apostle Atigbiofor Atsuliaghan, a high priest of Umale-Okun, and a direct descendant of Orunmila, claimed that the Yorubas left Egypt as a result of a big war that engulfed the whole of Egypt. He said the Egyptian remnants settled in various places, two important places being Ode Itsekiri and Ile-Ife.Chief O.N Rewane says “Oral tradition has it also that when the Yorubas came from South of Egypt they did not go straight to where they now occupy. They settled at Illushi, some at Asaba area – Ebu, Olukumi Ukwunzu while some settled at Ode-Itsekiri,.” (O.N. Rewane Royalty Magazine A PICTORIAL SOUVENIR OF THE BURIAL AND CORONATION OF OLU OF WARRI, WARRI 1987)
Since these oral traditions are passed on by very illiterate people, we can augment whatever is recorded with written sources. Concerning the migration of some of the Yoruban ancestors from the east, Conton says:
The Yoruba of Nigeria are believed by many modern historians to be descended from a people who were living on the banks of the Nile 2,000 years ago, and who were at the time in close contact with the Egyptians and the Jews. Sometime before AD 600, if this belief is correct, this people must have left their fertile lands, for reasons which we can not now discover and have joined in the ceaseless movement of tribes west wards and south-wards across our continent.
We can only guess at the many adventures they and their descendants must have had on their long journey and at the number of generations which passed before they arrived. All we can be certain about is that they were a Negro people (of which ancient Egypt probably had at least one community as we have seen) and that one of the many princely states they founded on their arrival in West Africa…..was Ife.’ Conton WF (1960. 71
Although we agree with Conton that some of the Yoruban ancestors migrated from Egypt, we tend to toe the scientific line of Cheik Anta Diop, that the ancient Egyptians were pure Negroes.
Aderibigbe, an indigenous scholar, also accepts that the Yorubas migrated from Egypt. He says:
“The general trend of these theories, most of them based on Yoruba traditions, is that of a possible origin from “the east”. Some scholars, impressed by the similarities between Yoruba and ancient Egyptian culture – religious observation, works of art, burial and other customs – speak of a possible migration of the ancestors of the Yoruba from the upper Nile (as early as 2000BC – 1000BC) as a result of some upheavals in ancient Egypt”. (AB ADERIBIGBE 1976)
Unlike Conton, Aderibigbe was able to pinpoint a cause for the Yoruban migration – war. Olumide Lucas did a lot of job to show similarities and identities between the ancient Egyptians and the Yoruban peoples. The date that Aderibigbe gave (2000BC – 1000BC) is much earlier than that given by Conton. Aderibigbe’s date corresponds to that of the Hyksos invasion of Egypt 2000-1500BC. On the possible eastern origin of the Yorubas, Tariqh Sawandi says:
“The Yoruba history begins with the migration of an east African population across the trans-African route leading from Mid-Nile river area to the Mid-Niger. Archaeologists, according to M. Omoleya, inform us that the Nigerian region was inhabited more than forty thousand years ago, or as far back as 65,000BC. During this period, the Nok culture occupied the region. The Nok culture was visited by the “Yoruba people”, between 2000BC and 500BC. This group of people was led, according to Yoruba historical accounts by king Oduduwa, who settled peacefully in the already established Ile-Ife, the sacred city of the indigenous Nok people.
This time period is known as the Bronze Age, a time of high civilization of both of these groups. According to Olumide J. Lucas, “the Yoruba, during antiquity, lived in ancient Egypt before migrating to the Atlantic coast”. He uses as demonstration the similarity or identity of languages, religious beliefs, customs and names of persons, places and things. In addition, many ancient papyri discovered by archaeologists point at an Egyptian origin. (Tariqh Sawandi: Yorubic medicine: The Art of divine herbology – online article).
Ademoyega commented that the Ekiti section of the Yorubas must have migrated to their present area around 638AD when the Muslims took over Egypt and forced some of the Yoruba people to migrate to their present area.
So, we see that the Yoruba did not come in one migration, but in many different migrations – in waves. The first possible migration might be connected with the Hyksos invasion. Some words in the Yoruban vocabulary echo the words used in Egypt in predynastic times and in the early dynastic periods. Some Egyptian gods of this period have strong identities with Yoruban deities. For instance, gods such as Adumu (Adumu) Hepi (Ipi) Ausar (Ausa), Horise (Orise), and Sámi (Sámi) Nam (Inama) are present in Yoruba. All these gods existed in the pre-dynastic and early dynastic periods of Egypt. TODAY, AMONG THE ITSEKIRI-YORUBAS ,THESE GODS CAN STILL BE PHYSICALLY SEEN, AT LEAST, ONCE A YEAR! Neighbouring peoples are already initiated into the various gods systems and beliefs in yorubaland.the agban ancestral worship was first organized in Urhoboland during the funeral ceremony of chief Ayomanor of Sapele (1949). The Ipi system was first organized in Urhoboland in March 11, 2005.
We can also see words that existed in the Graeco-Roman period in some of the Yoruban dialects. When the Romans took over Egypt, they infiltrated the Egyptian area with their language. In present Yoruba, we can still find words of Roman descent. For instance, the Yoruba called the palm frond ‘Mariwo’. This word is derived form the Latin Rivus (River). One of the declensions of river is Rivo (by the river).Since the Yoruban possesses no “V”, the word become riwo. Thus, the word “Omariwo” means the child by the river. Some other words like Sangi (blood in Itsekiri-yoruba dialect) thought to have been derived form the Portuguese were actually brought as a result of the Roman Conquest of Egypt. Sangi is blood and the Latin term is Sanguis. Some eastern Yoruba use the term “Ihagi” which is clearly a corruption of the Roman Sanguis. A Christian army in 540AD invaded Egypt and some persons believed to have reached Yoruba land were driven from Egypt.
With the commencement of the Arab period in Egypt, some indigenous Egyptians who never wanted to accept the Islamic religion escaped to present Yoruba land. It was probably in this period that words such as Keferi (Kafri pagan in Arab) infiltrated into the Yoruboid vocabulary.
All said and done, more than fifty percent of the Yoruboid vocabulary of today can be deduced either directly or indirectly from the ancient Egyptian. These are the original ancient Egyptian language devoid of Arab and Latin words that are very few in the Yoruboid vocabulary
It is not really certain when king Oduduwa came from Egypt. He must have come in one of the many migrations. But since the Yoruba religious discourse has a lot of identities with Egyptian, Oduduwa would have left Egypt at a very early period perhaps after the Hyksos invasion of 2000-1500BC ,but not later than 30BC.

Could the Yoruba have migrated from a white Egypt?

1. Egypt was a part of Africa and therefore should be black
2. The Egyptians believe that Egypt was a colony of Ethiopia, and that the religion was brought to Egypt by King Horus from the south (inner Africa). Thus when the Egyptians died, they buried their corpses with their faces facing the South West (the direction of West Africa, home of the Yoruba)
3. Some West African peoples claim that their ancestors migrated to ancient Egypt. The Yorubas claimed that a mystic-prophet Orunmila (Oritse Udeji among the Itsekiri) migrated to Egypt and established a religion. Archaeology and cross-cultural studies have shown that Negroes migrated from West Africa to ancient Egypt.
4. Anthropologists have discovered, to their dismay, that Egyptian cultural traits: divine kingship, forms of burial, Osirian cult, etc., permeate some parts of Negro Africa.
5. Some deities exist in Egypt and in Negro Africa, such as Adumu, Hepi, Inama, Sami Horise etc.
6. The Greeks referred to the Egyptian as “Hoi Aiguptos”, (black people); the Egyptians referred to themselves as Kam (black in their language.)
7. Melanin test proved that the Egyptians were black.
8. Osteological measurements which are less misleading than craniometry in distinguishing a black man from a white man has proved that the ancient Egyptians belonged to the black race. Lepsius, a German Savant at the end of the nineteenth century, made the studies and his conclusion remains valid. Future studies have not contradicted the “Lepsius canon”, which in broad figures gave the bodily proportion of the ideal Egyptian: short armed and of Negroid or Negrito physical type.
9. Most West African claim Egyptian ancestry. If they are black, their ancient Egyptian ancestors must be black.
10. Ancient paintings on caves and temples in Egypt depict blacks. At first there were only black paintings, in later times, the blacks were shown ruling over whites and yellows (Asians).
11. Ancient statues and carvings found in Upper and Lower Egypt showed black skins, and features.
12. Ancient monuments such as the pyramid have been replicated in other parts of Africa. A typical example is the Warri pyramid recorded in Roth (1671).
13. Language similarities exist between the Egyptians and some groups in west Africa such as the Wolof and particularly more so, the Yorubas ( more then 500 similar words have been discovered bearing identical meanings. See Yoruba is Atlantis by the same authors: to be published).
14. Recent findings of Genetics and Molecular Biology and Linear Analysis have proved the Egyptians were Negroid.
15. The testimony of classical writers such as Plato, Homer, Aristotle, Pythagoras etc., portrays the Egyptians as blacks.
16. the physical photograph of Yuyi of ancient Egypt is Negroid (Barbara Mertz : Red Land ,Black land: 1967)

Yoruba Fokelore

Ogun meets Ochosi

It is said that Ogun isolated from the world spent his time
clubbing and hacking his way in the jungles searching for food, but
with his aggressive manner would only scare the prey away. So he
pined starving and frustrated in the forest with only his ability
of his forge with which he could make knives and tools. Oshosi on
the other hand with his mysterious efficacy to hypnotize his would
be victim, would prize numerous catches. But without the tools with
which he could butcher them he also remained alone and starving with
numerous unopened carcasses that were of no value to him rotting. One day
Eleggua came about, hungry and curious and having seen Ogun not far
off in a similar predicament he said;

“Why don’t you and Ogun live together? Certainly you would be
formidable room mates. For you can catch to your hearts desire and
Ogun can open the prey”.

Eleggua then went to Ogun and proposed; “Why don’t you and Oshossi
move together and work with each other instead of quarreling or
being so exacting in your differences? Certainly if you live with
each other while one can hunt the other can make use of that which
you’ve caught.”

Then Oshosi and Ogun said; “But we cannot guarantee that we will
always find what we are looking for. If we then both become hungry
then in our frustration of the best of friends we will become the
worst of enemies.”

To which Eleggua answered; “Not so, for if you share with me your
catch, for I only need very little as you see, I will show you
where to make the paths, where to find the grounds where at, you
will be successful in getting good catch and that way we three can
not only be friends but an indefatigable threesome that none can

And it is said that from that day forward Ogun and Oshossi share
the same cauldron and Eleggua…well, he comes and goes as he
pleases, so long as he is taken care for he will always at least
let the hunters know where to go for their success.”

Agogo ishere agbara
Elese kan sare ju ese meji lo”

`God of herbs
Dance bell of power
One-legged man running faster than men on two legs.’

Ifa Related

Counsel of Yoruba Elder Ifa Priests

Document of the International Council of Ifa in Nigeria
For: The Ifa World Order

This counsel has been up to date with the growing worries generated by the
current controversy that surrounds the report that is found circulating and that
alleges that a Mrs. D' Haifia who is also Yeye Araba, affirms to be in
possession of Orisa Odu (Igba Iwa) which was given to her OLo-Irese, The Araba
of Ife, and Chief Makonranwale Adisa Aworeni.

This fact has generated an anxiety and unprecedented uneasiness inside and out
of the community of Ifa World. The counsel, with a view to clarify the facts, by
this manner gives the following explanations;

1- It prohibits that any woman of any religion or spiritual extraction be in the
possession of, management or vision of Orisa Odu. This is not by any means
discriminatory against the woman, but is in pure and strict harmony with the
dogmas of Ifa according to itself expressly train in Ofun Meji 16:4, in Irete
Bear 221:8, in Irete Ofun 226:18 and in Otrupon Irete.

2- Any woman that affirms to be in possession of or manipulate or see Orisa Odu
has consequently broken a fundamental dogma of Ifa and she will be responsible
for physical as spiritual consequences of her actions.

3- The council likewise reports that neither Mrs. D' Haifa nor her associates
are registered or recognized as members of the International Counsel of the
Religion of Ifa, the governing body and uniting power of all the followers of
Ifa everywhere.

The Council makes the following statements.

1- It warns all women in interest of their spiritual and physical welfare to
never acquire, touch or to see Odu (igba iwa). This will do them no well, since
to not possess it does not deprive them of its spiritual essence in any form.

2- If some woman affirms to possess Odu (Igba Iwa), said woman does it against
the commandments of the dogmas of Ifa. In this manner those women in possession
of Odu (Igaba Iwa) in any manner or aspect should consider it as something that
is lacking of spiritual value, since those people which affirm to have received
it, are aware of the inexorable fact that is an abomination for a woman to
possess or to see Odu (Igba Iwa)..

3- For having stained the name of Ifa and of the women and by dragging in the
mud the venerated name of Ifa, and by generating a controversy that could have
been avoided, the International council of the Religion of Ifa, (of which the
Arabaof Ife is President, board of directors) in this manner withdraws the title
of Yeye Araba from Mrs. D¡Haifia effective immediately.

4- The Counsel in this manner warns all charlatans, impostors, false and
practioners of Ifa to desist since we will no doubt be invoking all the
necessary corrective
measures on anyone regardless of their position in the community of Ifa.

5- To all the temples and associations dedicated to the worship of Ifa all over
the world, in this manner it is advised to be registered officially and as quick
as be possible with the Council and so avoid having rights and privileges of
said membership are denied to them.

Nigeria, March 25 of the 2003 Signed by:

Profesor Idowu B. Odeyemi Balogun Awo Agbaye & Presidente.
Chief Solagbade Popoola, secretario General
Chief Fasina Falade Olobikin Of Ile â€"Ifa

Member (board of directors, depository:

Chief Aworeni
Chief Prof.. Wande Abimbola
Chief Oyewole Obenmalcinda
Chief Prof. Odutola Odeyeni
Chief Iquyikwa Odutola
Chief Adeboye Oyesanya
Chief Awodirian Agboola.