By William Bascomb
"The sacred texts of Ifa, repository of the gathered knowledge of numerous generations of Yoruba humans, are a useful resource not just for all scholars of African oral literature and Yoruba civilization, but additionally for destiny generations attracted to the ongoing energy of Ifa divination and a Yoruba lifestyle and thought." —Henry Drewal
This landmark research of Ifa, crucial and intricate method of divination of the Yoruba humans of Nigeria, continues to be a enormous contribution to scholarship in anthropology, folklore, faith, philosophy, linguistics, and African and African-American studies.
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Extra info for Ifa Divination: Communication Between Gods and Men in West Africa
Hunter went alongside the line, met Elephant and killed him. while he minimize Elephant open, he chanced on the white fabric inside of. He again the material, with an elephant's tusk as a present, to Qrunmila. given that that point, end result of the falsehood of Elephant, Qrunmila and III. equipment and initial Invocations 37 the babalawo use the tusk of an elephant as ir9fa. and because that point, any hunter who kills an elephant needs to take the ala il to a babalawo. preliminary Invocations ahead of the 1st divination of the day, prayers and invocations are provided to Ifa and different deities whereas the equipment is being prepared. it really is handy to explain this initial ritual, that's played just once through the day, prior to turning to the particular mechanics of divination and the way during which the precise Ifa verse is chosen for the buyer. As recorded in M~k9, the diviner sits on a mat together with his tray in entrance of him. He spreads wooden airborne dirt and dust at the tray, and areas the divining cup within the middle of it. The collection of miscellaneous items which function symbols of particular possible choices are put on the perfect aspect of the tray. baggage of cowry shells, one in every of which additionally includes eighteen palm nuts, are put in entrance of the tray. The diviner takes the palm nuts out of the bag and areas them within the divining cup; he increases this in either palms and blows spit at the palm nuts and says: "Ifa wakeful, oh, Qrunmila. while you are going to the farm, you need to come domestic, oh. while you're going to the river, you'll want to come domestic, oh. when you are going to seek, you might want to come domestic, oh. " [Ifa ji-o, Qrunmila; hello o 19 l(i)-oko, ki o wa-(i)le-o; bi o l9 l(i)-odo, ki o wa-(i)le-o; hello o 19 l(i)-9d~, k(i)-o wa-(i)le-o. ] this can be to ensure that Ifa supervises the divination and sees that the proper determine is chosen. He then locations the divining cup at the flooring to the left of the divining tray, asserting, "I take your foot and press the floor hence. " [Mo fi ~s~ r~ t~-(i)l~ bayi. ] He then places it at the mat, asserting, "I take your foot and press the head of the mat hence. I hold you to take a seat at the mat, so that you can hold me to sit down at the mat forever:' [Mo fi ~s~ r~ t~ ori ~ni bayi. Mo gbe nine ka l(i)-ori ~ni, ki ole gbe mi ka l(i)-ori ~ni titi lai. ] He replaces the cup at the divining tray, announcing, "I hold you to take a seat on ! fa's tray, that you should hold me to sit down on ! fa's tray without end. " [Mo gbe nine ka l(i)-ori 9P9n-(I)fa, ki ole gbe mi ka l(i)-ori 9P9n-(I)fa titi lai. ) those prayers for lengthy existence are by way of prayers for kids and funds. He attracts a line clockwise along with his finger within the wooden dirt round the base of the divining cup, asserting, "I construct a home round you, so that you can construct a home round me} so that you can allow kids encompass me, so that you can allow cash encompass me. " [Mo k9-(i)le yi nine ka, ki ole k9-(i)le yi mi ka, ki ole j~ki 9m9 yi mi ka, ki ole j~ki owo yi mi ka. ] He erases the road along with his cow-tail swap, asserting, "I pay homage, oh; I pay homage, oh. Homage come to cross; homage come to go; homage come to pass," [Mo ju-(i)ba-o, 6.