Awonifa

Study the Teaching of Ifa and the Orisha's

Olarosa (?Alarense, helper) is the tutelary deity of Houses. He is represented as armed with a stick or sword, and his image is found in almost every household guarding the entrance. His office is to drive away sorcerers and evil spirits, and to keep elegua from entering the house.

Yoruba Fokelore

Son of Sticks

A Great King sent his various sons to rule over different parts of his kingdom, and all were satisfied but one, the youngest and most ambitious, who returned to his father after some time with the complaint that his territory was much too small and his subjects too few.

The King was displeased with his son, and sent for a large bundle of sticks, which he converted into human beings.

“Here are some more subjects for you!” he said to the astonished Prince.

From that time the tribe was famous for its strength and stupidity, and went by the nickname of “Sons of Sticks,” or “Ọmọ igi”!

Spacemen in Yorubaland

This is a curious article that appeared in a Nigerian Newspaper:

Have you taken a long, hard look at the typical masquerade? And an equally long hard look at the typical American astronaut or Russian cosmonaut?

Have you noticed the curious semblance between the two? The face piece, especially?

Can there possibly be a connection between, say, Yuri Gagarin, the 'first man in space' and a common Yoruba Tombolo (type of masque) cartwheeling to the cheers of a market crowd?

Curiously, the Yoruba call the masquerade ara orun (visitor from heaven. But, is the astronaut not an ara orun too? After all, he travels in deep space (the heavens ñ even farther than conventional planes).

Could it be that the cult of Egungun (masquerade) really is in remembrance of beings who in the ancient past travelled form the 'heavens' to the earth? Yoruba tradition interprets ara orun (masquerades) as spirits of long-dead fathers returned to visit their offsprings on earth.

But why call such spirits ara orun rather than oku orun (spirit of the dead). Oku orun is more descriptive of someone who is in heaven in consequence of having died here on earth.

Ara orun suspiciously sounds like a "living being" naturally resident in 'heaven' but who elects to visit the earth.

The 'Ara' part of the name, in Yoruba means a 'resident of' or a 'visitor from'.

Interestingly, from Yoruba folklore comes a song that sounds very relevant to this discourse. It evidently recounts an encounter between an earthman and an Ara Orun. The song goes:

Lead: Ara Orun, Ara Orun Chorus:Inomba ntere tere nte inomba Lead: Kilo wa se ni nile yi oo? Chorus: Inomba ntere tere nte inomba Lead: Emu ni mo wa da Chorus: Inomba ntere tere nte inomba Lead: Elelo lemuu re o Chorus: Inomba ntere tere nte inomba Lead: Okokan Egbewa Chorus: Inomba ntere tere nte inomba Lead: Gbemu sile ki o maa loo Chorus: Inomba ntere tere nte inomba.

Translated as:

Lead: Visitor from (the) heaven(s), visitor from (the) heaven(s) Chorus: Inomba ntere tere nte inomba Lead: What do you seek in this land? Chorus: Inomba ntere tere nte inomba. Lead: I've come to tap palmwine. Chorus: Inomba ntere tere nte inomba. Lead: How much do you sell your palmwine? Chorus: Inomba ntere tere nte inomba. Lead: Ten thousand cowries per keg. Chorus: Inomba ntere tere nte inomba. Lead: Put the palmwine down and go.

It is clear from the mood of this encounter that the ara orun or visitor from (the) heaven(s) being addressed is not a ghost. The Yoruba have a more appropriate name for ghost.

It is Oku.

Again, the average Yoruba man does not care to hold dialogue with an oku. He (or she) is more likely to flee in terror. However, our earthman here is clearly under the influence of plain curiosity ñ as opposed to dark terror: "What was the mission of the ara orun? He wanted to know.

Again, why did the earthman call the entity Ara Orun? Did he see the entity descend from the skies (Heaven)?

In fact, the use of ile yi (this land) while asking the being his mission shows that the Ara Orun was a total alien. That's how the Yoruba use the word.

Fortunately again, the Ara Orun discloses his mission: To tap palmwine. Hardly anything one will call spiritual. That dispels any notion that the alien was probably a spirit being or an 'angel'.

So, our alien was flesh enough to be capable of relishing the taste of palm wine or was from a land (or world) where palmwine is so appreciated.

Back to the question, how did the earthman recognise the alien as being from 'Heaven'. Did he see him float down from the 'skies'? It should be noted that the Yoruba have the same word ñ Orun ñ for both sky and heaven (supposed abode of good people and Olodumare). Some times though, they take extra pains to use oju orun to distinguish the skies; so did the Earthman see this being descend?

Again, a portion of his song suggests just "descent." We must, however, admit that at this stage, we are at the level of conjectureñ but reasoned conjecture.

This portion of the song is the part of the chorus: Ntere tere nte. What does tere nte connote in the Yoruba language.

For answer, we refer to yet another folklore. this one comes from the Ifa literary corpus.

According to the story, reports reached Orunmila, the Yoruba divinity of wisdom that one of his wives was having an affair with a male mammy water (Pappy Water?)

A naturally enraged Orunmila then trailed the unfaithful woman to the couple's rendezvous at a sea shore or river bank. He caught them in the act ñ and opened fire on (or macheted) the half-fish-half-man.

Wounded the casanova fell back into the deeps and moments later, the water surface hen blood went blood-red.

Now in great sorrow, the apparently unrepentant woman burst into a dirge for for her lover.

Lead: Oko omi, oko omi o. Chorus: Tere na. Lead: Oko mi Oko mi o. Chorus: Tere na. Lead: Ogbe mi lo terere. Chorus: Tere na. Lead: Ogbemi lo tarara. Chorus: Tere na. lead: O tarara Oju omi Chorus: Tere na. Lead: Oju omi a feroro. Chorus: Tere na. Lead: Eja nla hurungbon. Chorus: Tere na. Lead: Oju eye perere. Chorus: Tere na. Lead: My love, my dear love. Chorus: Tere na. Lead: He bore me far, far away (into the sea) Chorus: Tere na. Lead: He bore me far, far (back from the sea). Chorus: tere na Lead: Along the highways of the waters. Chorus: Tere na. Lead: The expansive, limitless waters. Chorus: Tere na. Lead: The mighty bearded fishman Chorus: Tere na.

Tere re in this song clearly indicates "great distance", the great distance the lovers covered as they traversed the waters during their illicit affair.

The other part of our original words: is easily clearer. In Yoruba, Nte connotes "floatation", "high" or "air-borne".Thus we have Lori Oke tente (on the very top of the hill), Ate (a hat worn on the very top of the head. And ole tente (it floats pretty).

Thus, a combination of tere and nte suggests something "floating down, air-borne form great distance, from far away."

Thus what the Tere nte chorus is probably telling us is that this visitors from the heavens, this aliens, floated down from a great distance.

We can now wonder. Did the Yoruba, indeed , Africans, make contact with space being or extra-terrestrials in the ancient past? And did they preserve these encounters in their folklore and folksongs?

I was still "brain-storming" over all these, digging into litreatures on Egungun and allied matters when a most fortunate clue literally fell on my laps.

There is this weekly Ifa programme on the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS). Anchored by Wale Rufai, it features stories from the Ifa corpus by an Ifa priest, Gbolagade Ogunleke Ifatokun.

Being one of my favourite programmes, I was listening on Wednesday November 20, last year when a brief digression in the discussion brought up the issue of the mutual respect between the Ifa priesthood and the Egungun cult. Ifatokun, declared flatly that an Egungun must never whip an Ifa priest. (Egungun o gbodo na Babalawo), especially by reason of an ancient alliance between Orunmila (founder of the Babalawo school) and the Egungun at a time in the ancient past when the Earth was threatened by a deluge of Ifatokun's story held me spellbound.

According to him, the real meaning of egungun is Mayegun that is, "keep the world in order" or "those who keep the world running smoothly."

In the distant past, Ifatokun related, there occurred a deluge, which threatened all life on earth.

Seeing the earth so imperilled, Orunmila, and other (Irunmales the divinities) who were resident on Earth then, sent an S.O.S. to Orun, (Heaven).

In response, the Ara orun, came to the Earth in special costumes.

These costumes, said Ifatokun, had the unique property of drying up any portion of the inundated earth over which they were swung.

The "Egungun" cult sprang from this incident of the invitation of these heavenly beings.

The special and elderly egungun who wear imitations of these today are called Babalago, Ifatokun said.

So, the Egungun (Mayegun) cam from orun (heaven, Space) to rescue aye (Earth) form the deluge.

The modern interpretation of the Ifatokun story is glaring:

When the deluge hit the Earth, extraterrestrial beings resident on Earth, among whom was Orunmila, himself, sent an S.O.S to their home planet. And in response, extraterrestial hydrologists landed on Earth in spacesuits (and, by inference, space craft) to rid the Earth of the excess water!.

Of course, the matter does not end here. Some sailent questions have been raised, especially by this last account.

For instance, was Orunmila truly an extraterrestial? Were the Irunmales or Orisas, extraterrestials? The answer is Yes.

However, that is another story...

Story originally published by The Guardian - Nigeria By Yemi Ogunsola

Kabo Kabiosile

King Chango was acquainted with many deadly charms, and he once happened to discover a preparation by which he could attract lightning.

He foolishly decided to try the effect of the charm first of all on his own palace, which was at the foot of a hill.

Ascending the hill with his courtiers, the King employed the charm: a storm suddenly arose, the palace was struck by lightning and burnt to the ground, together with Chango’s whole family.

Overcome with grief at having lost his possessions, and above all his sons, the impetuous King resolved to retire to a corner of his kingdom and to rule no more. Some of his courtiers agreed with him, and others tried to dissuade him from the plan; but Chango in his rage executed a hundred and sixty of them—eighty who had disagreed with him, and eighty who had agreed too eagerly!

Then, accompanied by a few friends, he left the place and started on his long journey. One by one his friends deserted him on the way, until he was left alone, and in despair he decided to put an end to his life, which he rashly did.

When they heard of the deed, his people came to the spot and gave him an honourable funeral, and he was ever afterwards worshipped as the god of thunder and lightning. So, among all the Yorubas, when people see the flash of lightning followed by the sullen roar of thunder, they remember Chango’s rage after the destruction of his palace, and exclaim: Kabo Kabiosile “Long live the King!”

Ifa Related

Sample Moyuba

Moyugbas de Osha-Ifá (Fuente Proyecto Orumila)

 
Moyugbas de Osha-Ifá
Oribawa Olofin, Oribawa Olorun, Oribawa Oddua, Oribawa Orula, Oribawa Bogbo Ocha, Oribawa Bogbo Orisha, Oribawa Bogbo Egun...
Otún Ni Obá.
Osí Ni Awó Aché.
Shewele Shewele Omó Layé Lodafún Babalao Omi Tuto, Ona Tuto, Tuto Nene, Tuto Larogba, Tuto Lawé Ikokó, Iba Inle Afokán, Iba Inle Owere, Iba Eyiti, Iba Irawó, Iba La Chupá, Iba, Orumale Guamale Yikotún Guamale Yikosí, Iba Olorun Akokó Imbere.
Iba Baba, Iba Yeye, Iba Ashedá, Iba Akodá, Iba Nana Fiyó Odun Ifá Araemi
Por ejemplo:

Araonu Iñó Filomeno García Atandá Ifá Bí Omó Odun Ifá Baba Eyiogbe, Iñó José Okonko Oluguere Oyekún Meyi, Iba Obara Meyi Iñó Remigio Herrera Ardechina, Ogunda Funbo Tata Gaitan, Ogbetuá Nilara Ramón Febles, Iñó Carlos Adé Bi Ojuani Boka, Iñó Jacinto Fernández Bramoso Oluwo Oka Indé Ogbetua Nilara, Iñó Norberto Noriega Ogunda Meyi, Olúo Sarakó Bonifacio Valdés Ogbe Weñá Ifá, Ojuani Alakentú Sheshe Ifá Funké, Ifá Bi Omó Eyiogbe Iba Eloni Bernabé Menocal, Otrupon Baraife Arturo Peña, Irete Tetedí Bernardo Rojas, Oché Paure Benito Rodríguez González, Oché Paure Bernardito Rojas, Que Timbelorun Que Timbelaye, Timbelese, Olodumare, Ibae Ibayen Tonú Rolo Obara Koso, Juan Rossel Ogunda Masá, Miguel Febles Padrón Omó Odí Ka, Juan Angulo Ogbetuá Ni Lara, Asunción Villalonga Ogunda Masa, Alfredo Rivero “El violinista” Otupon Beconguao, Félix El Negro, Papaito Osa Rete, Robertico Lemus Otura Wo, Otura Niko Panchito, Quintín García Otura Niko (hermano de Marcos García Ifá Lola), Miguel Iznaga El Tigre, Cundo Sevilla Ogbe Dí Kaká Ogbe Dí Lele, El Bebo Pastoriza Ogbe Ate, Fermín Medina Odí Atakofeñó, Julián Ogbe Bara, Joaquín Salazar Osalo Folbeyó, Secundino Crucé Osa Loforbeyó, Orestes Sánchez Osa Loforbeyó, Manoló Mirra Osa Loforbeyó, Florentino Ajuria Osa Loforbeyó, Babel Baba Eyiogbe, Cirilo Irete Wan Wan, Fernando Navarro Odi Oro, Miguel Ángel del Toro Ogbe Fun Funló, Manolo Ibañez Oche Meyi, Santiago Iguori Bosá, Arístides Basconselo Irete Kutan.
Babalocha Itokun, Iyalocha Itokun, Bogbó Olúo Itokun, Que Timbelorun, Timbelaye, Timbelese Olodumare.
Aché Bogbo Egun Aremí
(Se moyuban todos los muertos familiares)
Aché Egun Ilagbó.
Aché Bogbo Egun Oré.
Aché Bogbo Egun Imalé
Aché Bogbo Egun Finalí
Aché Bogbo Egun Merinlayé
Aché Bogbo Egun Cucunducú
Aché Bogbo Egun Erú
Aché Bogbo Egun Timbelorun Timbelaye.
Aché Baba, Aché Yeyé, Aché Olofin, Aché Olorun, Aché Oddudua, Aché Inlé Oguere, Aché Inle Fokan, Aché Inle Fokoyeri, Aché Eyite, Aché Irawó, Aché Mi Oluó (Osha y camino que tiene hecho, nombre completo y apellidos, awó ni orunmila nombre de Ifá, signo de Ifá) Oyulona Okan (Osha que tiene hecho, nombre de Osha, nombre completo y apellidos, awó ni orunmila nombre de Ifá ,signo de Ifá), Aché Apeteví Ikofafun (Osha que tiene hecho, nombre completo y apellidos, signo de Ikofafun), Aché Bogbo Awo.
Iba Eleguá, Iba Oggún, Iba Oshosi, Iba Osun, Iba Osain, Iba Obatalá, Iba Oyá Yansa Jekuá Jey, Iba Yemayá, Iba Oshún, Iba Shangó, Iba Aragba Karagba, Iba Olorun Olere Olorun Akoko Imbere.
Emi Omokan (nombre completo y dos apellidos, del sacerdote que oficia) Yoko Osha (Osha que tiene hecho, nombre de Osha), Awó ni Orunmila (nombre de Ifá y signo de Ifá), (se reza el signo), Lodá Obi Omi Tuto Nitosi Oshinshe Odara Ni (Ceremonia que se realiza, por ejemplo: Ikofafun marun, awofaka meta, osorde, etc.) Nitosi Unyén Ni Eyebale (se mencionan los animales que se van a dar, por ejemplo: Adie Meyi) Que Lodafun Abure mi (se menciona el nombre de la persona que realiza la ofrenda) Para sodide.
Nitosi Ikú Unló, Arun Unló, Ofo Unló, Eyó Unló, Iña Unló, Araye Unló, Fitibó Unló, Elenú Unló, Ashelú Unló, Onilú Unló, Bogbo Osorbo Unló, Nitosi Iré Arikú, Iré Omá, Iré Omó, Iré Owo, Iré Susu, Iré Batá, Iré Kirin Kirin, Iré Adeguan, Irée Deguantolokun, Ashegun Otá, Kolenio Dio Arikú Babagua.
Nota: La Moyugba de Ifá se confecciona con los nombres y apellidos, nombre de Osha y Ángel de la Guarda, signo de Ifá, nombre de Ifá de los difuntos de su familia religiosa de Ifá. Es sumamente importante indagar con los mayores cuidadosamente para saber todos los difuntos que uno tiene y no excluir a ninguno de los hermanos que en el ayer nos precedieron en nuestra religión.
Es responsabilidad de cada sacerdote tener una Moyugba completa y recordar a todos sus ancestros.

Moyugba de Osha

  • Para comenzar la Moyugba se dice el rezo siguiente:
    • Moyugba Olorun, Moyugba Olodumare, Moyugba Wamale ni Olofin, Moyugba Oba Egun Oduduwa, Moyugba Oba Orisha Obatalá.
  • El que reza menciona el nombre del difunto y a continuación dice:
    • Que otokú umbo elese Olodumare
  • Los que asisten dicen:
    • Ibae.
  • El oficiante dice:
    • Ibayen timoyen
    • Ibayen tonu
Nota: Generalmente se van mencionando uno a uno los nombres y después de cada uno se dice: Ibae, tocando con el Bakulo en el piso. Se mencionan primero los nombres de los difuntos familiares y otros difuntos que acompañan a una persona y después los difuntos de la rama religiosa y otros religiosos difuntos importantes.
Nota: Los difuntos de la rama religiosa se agrupan en la Moyugba según el Osha que tuvieron coronado y se mencionan en el orden ceremonial que corresponda al Ángel de Guarda en que se inicio el individuo que propicia la ceremonia.
Por ejemplo:

  1. Los difuntos familiares en orden genealógico. Padre, Abuelo, Bisabuelo, etc.
  2. Los difuntos que acompañan: Padrinos de Bautizo y otros que le han sido señalado en las misas.
  3. Los olúos, babalawos, Oloshas, Babalochas, Iyaloshas y Oriate que han sido importantes figuras en Osha-Ifá. A continuación se mencionan difuntos de la rama religiosa en el siguiente orden:
    1. Hijos de Eleguá.
    2. Hijos de Ogún.
    3. Hijos de Oshosi.
    4. Hijos de Osun.
    5. Hijos de Oyá.
    6. Hijos de Oshún.
    7. Hijos de Agayú (si lo tiene recibido).
    8. Hijos de Yemayá.
    9. Hijos de Azowano (si lo tiene recibido).
    10. Hijos de Shangó.
    11. Hijos de Obatalá.
Algunos nombres de difuntos de Ramas Religiosas
  • Omó Elegguá Eshu Lona María Engracia Cordero
  • Omó Elegguá Eshu Itolú
  • Omó Elegguá Eshu Dina La Mora
  • Omó Elegguá Ojuani Chowe
  • Omó Elegguá Aggo Cerdé
  • Omó Elegguá Eshu Miwá
  • Omó Elegguá Eshu Bi Pepa, Josefa Herrera
  • Omó Elegguá Eshu Bi José Urquiola, (José Pata de Palo)
  • Omó Elegguá Elegguse Ma Francisca
  • Omó Elegguá Osi Kan Martina Bicho Malo
  • Omó Elegguá Eshu Carire Arcadio Calvo Espinosa (Buey Suelto Mundo Corta Lima)
  • Omó Elegguá Eshu Alawana
  • Baloggún Ogunda Nigüé
  • Baloggún Oggun Lagdé
  • Baloggún Oggún Toyó
  • Baloggún Ogunda Fumbo
  • Baloggún Ogunda Masa
  • Baloggún Oggún Bi
  • Baloggún Pedro Arango
  • Oló Oshosi Ordedei Candita
  • Oló Oshosi Miguel Oshosi
  • Oló Oshosi Ordelaí Miwá
  • Oló Oshosi Félix Oshosi Ordelé
  • Oló Oshosi Manuela Oshosi (Madrina de Lamberto)
  • Oló Oyá Taggerdé
  • Oló Oyá Oyaddina Habana Paz (La Pastoriza)
  • Oló Oyá Funké Andrea Soler
  • Oló Oyá Oyá Ladé
  • Oló Oyá Addé Egun
  • Oló Oshún Ade Waro Oshún
  • Oló Oshún Oshún Bi
  • Oló Oshún Oshún Miwá
  • Oló Oshún Oshún Larí Carlos Menéndez, (Carlos la Vená)
  • Oló Oshún Oshún Kaiogdé
  • Oló Oshún Oshún Nike
  • Oló Oshún Okan Tomi
  • Oló Oshún Okan Lanké
  • Oló Oshún Oshún Gere Josefina Caballito
  • Oló Oshún Oshún Miwa Oyagboto
  • Oló Oshún Akué Etí Osun
  • Oló Oshún Oshún Alawedé
  • Oló Oshún Oshún Gumí
  • Oló Oshún Oshún Ladé
  • Oló Oshún Oló Oshún Ade María Justa Cárdenas
  • Oló Oshún Oló Oshún Ade Magín Luis Santa María Hernández
  • Oní Yemayá María Menéndez, María Towá
  • Oní Yemayá Omó Larí
  • Oní Yemayá Oki Kio María Carballo (Abuela María)
  • Oní Yemayá Olómigdara Catalina
  • Oní Yemayá Tinomio Juname Margo Santo Sano
  • Oní Yemayá Omí Toké Susana Cantero
  • Oní Yemayá Omí Toké Aida
  • Oní Yemayá Omí Toké Chicho
  • Oní Yemayá Omí Akeré
  • Oní Yemayá Omí Yomí
  • Oní Yemayá Omí Lamá Ñengo
  • Oní Yemayá Omí Yaya Aurelia Mora
  • Oní Yemayá Omí Saya
  • Oní Yemayá Omí Yale Patricio Carbo
  • Oní Yemayá Omí Yale Alejandro Leal
  • Oní Yemayá Omí Yoyagde
  • Oní Yemayá Ogún Fu Mito, Rosa la africana
  • Oní Yemayá Omí Diero Armando Veguería
  • Oní Yemayá Omí Diero Tatica
  • Oní Yemayá Asedina Valeria Regueiro
  • Oní Yemayá Omí Saindé Armando Paredes (Yeyo)
  • Oní Yemayá Omí Tolú Yeyo
  • Oní Yemayá Osha Bi Fermina Gómez
  • Oní Yemayá Osha Bi Ma Monserrate
  • Osafalú Tojunsa Kumban (Asowanu) Matoleyí Africano
  • Osafalú Tojunsa Kumban (Asowanu) Ma Francisca Elegguase (madre de Pilar Fresneda)
  • Osafalú Tojunsa Kumban (Asowanu) Marcelina Samá Ananú
  • Osafalú Tojunsa Kumban (Asowanu) Goyo El Cartero
  • Osafalú Tojunsa Kumban (Asowanu) Edun Elese Vivian Pinillo
  • Osafalú Tojunsa Kumban (Asowanu) Edashi Ofun Sa
  • Osafalú Tojunsa Kumban (Asowanu) Pilar Fresneda Matoleyí Oló Mina Bororo
  • Osafalú Tojunsa Kumban (Asowanu) San Superato Pilar Fresneda (Madre de Bartoló Iroso Fumbo)
  • Osafalú Tojunsa Kumban (Asowanu) Lina Afrimaye
  • Osafalú Tojunsa Kumban (Asowanu) Belerio
  • Osafalú Tojunsa Kumban (Asowanu) Margó Santosano Tinomio Ojunami
  • Osafalú Tojunsa Kumban (Asowanu) Matilde (Tina)
  • Osafalú Tojunsa Kumban (Asowanu) Abuelito Gerbasio Blanco Jasoñaña Abakuá Orú
  • Osafalú Tojunsa Kumban (Asowanu) Victor Quemafo
  • Osafalú Tojunsa Kumban (Asowanu) Negrito
  • Osafalú Tojunsa Kumban (Asowanu) Tina
  • Osafalú Tojunsa Kumban (Asowanu) Irete Oturá
  • Osafalú Tojunsa Kumban (Asowanu) Manzano Jasoñaña
  • Osafalú Tojunsa Kumban (Asowanu) Oló Oshún Ade Magín Luis Santa María Hernández
  • Oní Shangó Oba Tolá
  • Oní Shangó Obadina
  • Oní Shangó Obayoko
  • Oní Shangó Odadí Meyi (fue el que trajo Agayú a Cuba,)
  • Oní Shangó Barawoshe
  • Oní Shangó Shangó Larí
  • Oní Shangó Ogbabí
  • Oní Shangó Oba Lobí
  • Oní Shangó Oba Tuké
  • Oní Shangó Ayaí Latuan Timotea Beal
  • Oní Shangó Oba Yimí
  • Oní Shangó Julio Meye
  • Oní Shangó Ilú Banké
  • Oní Shangó Oba Jesí
  • Oní Shangó Pedro Money Amarales
  • Oló Obatalá Oyeyeí
  • Oló Obatalá Baba Funké
  • Oló Obatalá Olufan Deí
  • Oló Obatalá Oddufora
  • Oló Obatalá Ewin Letí Tomás Romero
  • Oló Obatalá Ewin Letí Liberato Valdés
  • Oló Obatalá Alagbamí Aracelio Iglesias
  • Oló Obatalá Ewin Yowí Candita La Matancera
  • Oló Obatalá Odun Rena
  • Oló Obatalá Ofun Moyiwa
  • Oló Obatalá Ewin Tonaldé
  • Oló Obatalá Ewin Niwe
  • Oló Obatalá Ewin Migde
  • Oló Obatalá Oddu Fe
  • Oló Obatalá Oshainle
  • Oló Obatalá Eggunñé Merceditas
  • Oló Obatalá Ashó Rosa Amelia Valdés Medina Odu Bi
  • Oló Obatalá Ewin Lagde José Luis Sánchez Freidez
  • Iñó Carlos Adé Bí Ojuani Boka
  • Iñó Filomeno García Atandá Ifá Bí Omó Odun Ifá Baba Eyiogbe
  • Iñó Jacinto Fernández Bramoso Oluwo Oka Indé Ogbe Tua Nilara
  • Iñó Remigio Herrera Adé Shina Obara Meyi
  • Iñó José Akonkó Oluguere Oyekun Meyi
  • Iñó Norberto Noriega
  • Tata Gaitán Ogunda Fumbo
  • Ramón Febles Ogbe Tua
  • José Antonio Ariosa Ogbe Tua Nilara
  • Asunción Villalonga Ogunda Masá. Oló Obatalá
  • Miguel Febles Odi Ka
  • Cornelio Vidal
  • Manolo Ibañes
  • Jacinto Bezto
  • Carlos Argudin
  • Félix Pulido
  • Aurelio Estrada Babel Baba Eyiogbe
  • Feliberto Ofarril
  • Juan Angulo Ogbe Tua
  • Secundino Angarica
  • Guillermo Castro Ogbe She Ashagdé
  • Bernabé Menocal Baba Eyiogbe
  • Raúl Días Días (Empegó de Efí Abakuá)
  • Bartolo Fresneda Iroso Fun
  • Victor Abuela Otrupon Sa
  • Felito (Rafael) Baba Eyiogbe
  • Cheché Ojuani Alakentú
  • Cundo Sevilla
  • Alfredo Rivero, Otrupon Ogbe Konwa (Alfredo el violinista)
  • Quintín García Otura Niko (hermano de Marcos García Ifá Lolá, Ekori Abakuá)
  • Bernardo Rojas Irete Teterdí (Padre de Bernardito Rojas Oshe Paure)
  • Julio Sánchez Rivolta (Julio Espíritu) Inso Tolda
  • Secundino Crucé Osa Loforbeyó
  • Joaquín Salazar (Joaquinito) Osa Loforbeyó
  • Orestes Sánchez Osa Loforbeyó
  • Manolo Mirra Osa Loforbeyó
  • Florentino Ajuria Osa Loforbeyó
  • Eusebio Ladesma Ika Meyi
  • Arturo Peña Otrupon Obara Ife
  • Mario Mendoza Otura She (hijastro de Babel y Ahijado suyo)
  • El Negro Osa Rete
  • Oní Yemayá Osvaldo Santa María Hernández omó oddun Ifa Ogbetua Mora, Oní Omí Lara
  • Victor el ciego Omó Alá añá.
  • Papito Osa Rete
  • Raúl Peña Osa Rete
  • Pedro Pablo Pérez Rodríguez Ogbe Yono
  • Benito Rodríguez González Oshe Paure
  • Atanasio Torres Iroso Tolda
  • Miguel Yznaga El Tigre
  • Jesús Torregosa
  • María Antoñica Fines
  • Nicolás Angarica
  • Pedro Arango

Opinions to Our Asociated Practitioners

Directive issued by Cuban Ifa/Ocha Cuncil's

Opinions to our associated practitioners of the rule of Ocha and the Cuban IFA cult.
1. Do not allow anyone to change what was achieved with so much sacrifice in any ceremony performed, Whether in Cuba or our brothers anywhere in the world.
2. Make sure the people who you share knowledge of the secrets of Ifa have actually been initiated under the Cuban religions traditions which are of African origin, or if they have been initiated in some other method which is not what was bequeathed to us by our ancestors.

3. Do not perform or participate in initiations whether IFA or Ocha that are less than 7 days of rituals.

4 When Oba (Oriate) says during an Ocha ita, acting as the intermediary of the odu, "acquitted for lack of evidence" you have to immediately dismantle the throne and the person who is being initiated should stay all 7 days normally required for ceremony.
5 Please do not enter into discussions or raise questions that will cause disagreement with people who wish to follow other methods of initiation.
6. Do not allow in our homes in the days of rituals, opinions or people who do not agree with our faith inherited from our ancestors.
7. Respect all the ceremonial which we have been doing for our higher education.
8 Only be guided by your elders and in the lack of them by those people you designate for this purpose.
9. this section and those following pertained to Cuba and are not worth translating, if you wish to read it. It appears fully in the Spainsh Version.

Signed:

(a) Council of priests of IFA of the Republic of Cuba.
(b) Council of priests Obateros (Oriate) of the Republic of Cuba.
(c) Council of priestesses Iyalochas elders of the Republic of Cuba.
(d) Council of priests Babalochas elders of the Republic of Cuba.
(e) Council of priests heads of Councils of the Republic of Cuba
(f) Council of Arara older priests of the Republic of Cuba.
 
This article is reprinted with the permission of the Cuban Yoruba Cultura Association. I invite you to visit their website directly at CubaYoruba

Ifa

Ifa, god of divination, who is usually termed the God of Palm Nuts, because sixteen palm-nuts are used in the process of divination, The name Ifa apparently means something scraped or wiped off: he has the title of Gbangba (explanation, demonstration, proof). Ifa’s secondary attribute is to cause fecundity: he presides at births, and women pray to him to be made fruitful; while on this account offerings are always made to him before marriage, it being considered a disgrace not to bear children. To the native mind there is no conflict of function between Ifa and Obatala, for the former causes the woman to become pregnant, while the latter forms the child in the womb, which is supposed to be a different thing altogether.

Ifa first appeared on the earth at Ife, He tried to teach the inhabitants of Ife how to foretell future events, but they would not listen to him, so he left the town and wandered about the world teaching mankind. After roaming about for a long time, and indulging in a variety of amours, Ifa fixed his residence at Ado, where he planted on a rock a palm-nut, from which sixteen palm-trees grew up at once.

Ifa has an attendant or companion named Odu (? One who emulates), and a messenger called Opele (ope, puzzle, or ope, palm-tree). The bandicoot (okete) is sacred to him, because it lives chiefly upon palm-nuts. The first day of the Yoruba week is Ifa’s holy day, and is called ajo awo, “day of the secret.” On this day sacrifices of pigeons, fowls, and goats are made to him, and nobody can perform any business before accomplishing this duty.

A priest of Ifa is termed a babalawo (baba-ni-awo), “Father who has the secret,” as the natives never undertake anything of importance without consulting the god, and always act in accordance with the answer returned. Hence a proverb says, “The priest who is more shrewd than another adopts the worship of Ifa.” As Ifa knows all futurity, and reveals coming events to his faithful followers, he is considered the god of wisdom, and the benefactor of mankind. He also instructs man how to secure the goodwill of the other gods, and conveys to him their wishes, His priests pluck all the hair from their bodies and shave their heads, and always appear attired in white cloths.

The general belief is that Ifa possessed the faculty of divination from the beginning, but there is a myth which makes him acquire the art from the phallic god Elegba. In the early days of the world, says the myth, there were but few people on the earth, and the gods found themselves stinted in the matter of sacrifices to such an extent that, not obtaining enough to eat from the offerings made by their followers, they were obliged to have recourse to various pursuits in order to obtain food. Ifa, who was in the same straits as the other gods, took to fishing, with, however, he had small success; and one day, when he had failed to catch any fish at all, and was very hungry, he consulted the crafty Elegba, who was also in want, as to what they could do to improve their condition. Elegba replied that if he could only obtain the sixteen palm-nuts from the two palms -that Orungan the chief man, had in his plantation, he would show Ifa how to forecast the future; and that he could then use his knowledge in the service of mankind, and so receive an abundance of offerings. He stipulated that in return for instructing Ifa in the art of divination, he should always be allowed the first choice of all offerings made. Ifa agreed to the bargain, and going to Orungan, asked for the sixteen palm-nuts, explaining

to him what he proposed to do with them. Orungan, very eager to know what the future had in store for him, at once promised the nuts, and ran with his wife Orisha-bi, “Orisha-born,” to get them. The trees, however, were too lofty for them to be able to reach the palm-nuts, and the stems too smooth to be climbed; so they retired to a little distance and drove some monkeys that were in the vicinity into the palms. No sooner were the monkeys in the trees than they seized the nuts, and, after eating the red pulp that covered them, threw the bard kernels down on the ground, where Orungan and his wife picked them up. Having collected the whole sixteen, Orisha-bi tied them up in a piece of cloth, and put the bundle under her waist-cloth, on her back, as if she were carryino, a child. Then they carried the palm-nuts to Ifa. Elegba kept his promise and taught Ifa the art of divination, and Ifa in his turn taught Oruno-an, who thus became the first babalawo, It is in memory of these events that when a man wishes to consult Ifa, he takes his wife with him, if he be married, and his mother if he be single, who carries the sixteen palm-nuts, tied up in a bundle, on her back, like a child; and that the babalawo, before consulting the god, always says, “Orugan, ajuba oh. Orisha-bi ajuba oh.” (“Orungan, I hold you in grateful remembrance. Orisha-bi, I hold you in grateful remembrance.”

For the consultation of Ifa a whitened board is employed, exactly similar to those used by children in Moslem schools in lieu of slates, about two feet long and eight or nine inches broad, on which are marked sixteen figures. These figures are called “mothers.” The sixteen palm-nuts are held loosely in the right hand, and thrown through the half-closed fingers into the left hand. If one nut remain in the right hand, two marks are made, thus | |; and if two remain. one mark, |. In this way are formed the sixteen “mothers,” one of which is declared by the babalawo to represent the inquirer; and from the order in which the others are produced he deduces certain results. The interpretation appears to be in accordance with established rule, but what that rule is is only known to the initiated. The following are the “mothers”:

This process is repeated eight times, and the marks are made in succession in two columns of four each.

No. 6 is No. 5 inverted; 8 is 7 inverted; 10, 9 inverted; 13, 12 inverted; and 14, 11 inverted. Meji means “two,” or “a pair,” and the following appears to be the meaning of the names:–(1) The close pair (buru, closely). (2) The removed pair (Yekuro, to remove). (3) The street pair (Ode, a street). (4) The closed-up pair (Di, to close up, make dense). (5) The squatting-dog pair (losho, to squat like a dog). (6) The cross-bow pair (oron, cross-bow). (7) The striped pair (abila, striped). (8) ?Vulture-pair (akala, vulture). (9) The pointing pair (sha, to point). (10) The pair ending downward (Ku, to end, da, to upset on the ground). (11) ?The top-heavy pair (Dura, to make an effort to recover from a stumble; opin, end, point). (12) The tattoo-mark pair (ture, name of certain tattoo-marks). (13) The edge pair (leti, on the edge of). (14) The folded-up pair (Ka, to fold or coil). (15) The opened pair (shi, to open). (16) The alternate pair (fo, to pass over, pass by, jump over, skip).

From these sixteen “mothers” a great many combinations can be made by taking a column from two different “mothers,” and figures thus formed are called “children.” Thus (13) and (2) and (11) and (10) make respectively-

The initiation fee paid to a priest for teaching the art of divination is, it is said, is very heavy, and moreover does not cover the whole of the expense; for the Oracle is, like Oracles generally, ambiguous and obscure, and the neophyte finds that he constantly has to refer to the more experienced priests for explanations of its meaning.

When a man is initiated the priest usually informs him that he must
henceforward abstain from some particular article of food, which varies with the individual.

Ifa figures in connection with a legendary deluge, the story of which, now adapted to the Yoruba theology, Some time after settling at Ado, Ifa became tired of living in the world, and accordingly went to dwell in the firmament, with Obatala. After his departure, mankind, deprived of his assistance, was unable to properly interpret the desires of the gods, most of whom became in consequence annoyed. Olokun was the most angry, and in a fit of rage he destroyed nearly all the inhabitants of the world in a great flood, only a few being saved by Obatala, who drew them up into the sky by means of a long iron chain. After this ebullition of anger, Olokun retired once more to his own domains, but the world was nothing but mud, and quite unfit to live in, till Ifa came down from the sky, and, in conjunction with Odudua, once more made it habitable.