Ifa is not Yoruba

April 1, 2013 by
Filed under: Ifalution: the larger picture 


Old globeI’ll be pissing off a lot of people by stating that Ifa is not Yoruba. Even the name Ifa is just a dialect version from a large cluster of names for the same thing: Fa, Ifa, Evwa, Afa, Ebba, Eva. But… what’s in a name? That which we call Ifa, by any other name would be as good. In fact it is (happy grin)!

So… Ifa, being the Wisdom of Nature, definitely is not Yoruba. Ifa/Nature was there long before Yorubas, Americans, Dutch, Cubans etcetera came (Please become a member and/or log in to view this article.)


10 Comments on Ifa is not Yoruba

  1. Nanette Furman on Mon, 1st Apr 2013 16:59
  2. well said…you heretical fiend you. Now, to decorate the niche properly. 🙂

  3. Jaap Verduijn on Mon, 1st Apr 2013 17:26
  4. I’ve done that for myself already, Nanette, actually slowly and gradually without even noticing much of the process. It’s not finished yet, that process, and I doubt if it ever will because no system is ever closed anyway… but generally speaking I’m pretty clear about the color of the walls, the furniture, and the number of rooms (grin)!

    What I have been moving towards for a long time, is Ifa as it would have developed here in my part of the world, the tree as it would have grown here if it hadn’t been cut down by (mainly) Christianity. Ifa is not a single trunk with many branches… the way I see it it’s a forest with many trees, and room for more. The tree that should have developed here were I live was cut down a millennium and a half ago, but the roots didn’t die… here in my life (and I hope also in the Ilé Dafa) a sapling, fed by those old roots, is working its way towards the sun!

  5. Nanette Furman on Tue, 2nd Apr 2013 16:21
  6. And the encouragement for others of us is deeply appreciated!

  7. Veronique on Sun, 28th Apr 2013 22:37
  8. Baba, appreciation to you! You are a wonderful and selfless teacher. Thank you for demystyfying the de-mystsfiable! My question is can the shells be cast on Opon like Ikin? Long live Baba.

  9. Jaap Verduijn on Mon, 29th Apr 2013 10:10
  10. Hi Nanette and Veronique, thanks for the kind words!

    Veronique, ikin are not literally cast on the opon Ifa, their signs/marks are drawn in the iyerosun on the opon. In this sense there is no difference between working with ikin or cowries: in both cases the results can be written on the opon, instead of on paper.

    If, on the other hand, you mean to actually cast (throw) the shells on he opon… I really wouldn’t do that. The surface of the wooden opon is too hard, and you’ll see your shells bounce and jump all over the place (grin)! For casting cowries a mat (either the round kind, or the kind you sit on) is most suitable. Later today I’ll post a picture of a round mat Brenda decorated and uses.

  11. Veronique on Fri, 3rd May 2013 03:48
  12. Mo dupe sa! = Thank you sir!

  13. Sissi on Mon, 13th May 2013 23:32
  14. love this 🙂 and finally I hear talking about the universe 😀 cool!

  15. Jaap Verduijn on Tue, 14th May 2013 11:01
  16. Yes Sissi… we can’t have it both ways (wide grin)! Either we consider Ifa universal and hence important to all of us and to everything, or we consider it a local Yoruba curiosity… a bit of folklore like Sinterklaas in the Netherlands or Groundhog Day in the United States 😉

    I tend to see Ifa as universal, in fact I encounter it in everything I do, everywhere I go. I haven’t been able to escape Ifa even when I went to the other side of the world, or flew up in the sky at a height of 11 kilometers… and I think if I went to the other side of a thousand worlds, or flew away over a distance of millions of light years, I still couldn’t escape Ifa… not would I want to, by the way!

  17. Sissi on Wed, 15th May 2013 17:39
  18. it’s just that most stuff I’ve sniffed out…like wicca etc…, they only mostly talk about gods, nature, spirits or whatever. Nobody thinks of the universe 🙁 while I think it’s greatly important (if not the most important) because we live in it eventually….meh… you start to think about making SF your religion lol 😀

  19. Nanette Furman on Wed, 15th May 2013 18:12
  20. Love the idea of SF as my religion 🙂 Just not L Ron Hubbard’s crap…. Also, don’t dis Groundhogs Day!!! Important Day! And we got it from you all anyway- I think it was tiggys (??? hedgehogs!) in Europe, maybe Badgers???? Old brain, lost in the attic. How else do we know what winter will do. It was quite accurate here. Not just 6 more weeks of winter- but the most winter we got 🙂
    Of course All that is exists in Wicca- or should. But- it is pretty hard for us humans to grok that big a thing. Mostly we gotta go for the neighbors, the neighborhood- The tree in the yard, the bird in the bush, the giraffe on the plains, the wind in the chimney 🙂 grin. Those we can relate to. We are, after all, animals. We look for the good watering hole. I can mumble the whole Universe to myself, but I look out the window at the mountains. My soul can sort of touch them. Not so much the bazillion other galaxies. Wiring, my friends, wiring.