By William Bascomb
"The sacred texts of Ifa, repository of the amassed 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 continued energy of Ifa divination and a Yoruba lifestyle and thought." —Henry Drewal
This landmark learn of Ifa, an important and problematic method of divination of the Yoruba humans of Nigeria, is still a enormous contribution to scholarship in anthropology, folklore, faith, philosophy, linguistics, and African and African-American studies.
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Extra resources for Ifa Divination: Communication Between Gods and Men in West Africa
She named the kid Qlgmg. In these days Ifa used to sacrifice people. He instructed his humans to convey him a slave in order that he may sacrifice to his ancestral father or mother soul, and so they introduced him Qlgmg. He stated he might make his sacrifice in 3 days; in the meantime, he ordered Qlgmg to pound cornstarch within the mortar. whereas she was once pounding, she was once asserting, "I am the daughter of Poye. If I had a father they wouldn't have taken me as a sacrifice. " Ifa's 3 better halves (Osu, Odu, and Osun) heard what she used to be asserting and instructed Ifa that the lady who was once pounding cornstarch used to be unusual and that he may still hearken to what she was once announcing. while Ifa had heard her, he requested, "How did it occur that you're the daughter of Poye? " the woman answered that her mom had advised her, "I helped your father to get out of a pit; later on he had family members with me and that i had you as my daughter. " Ifa stated, "Sorry, oh! this is often my daughter. " His 3 other halves requested, "Oh? whilst used to be this that you just took one other spouse and had this daughter? " Ifa responded, "It used to be unlike that. i used to be in difficulty and this lady pulled me out of a pit. She begged me for a kid, so Irepaid her for what she had performed for me. " Then he despatched them to shop for a goat to sacrifice, and he set Qlgmg unfastened. 2 He acknowledged that from that point on, they need to now not deliver any human sacrifices to him; that they need to sacrifice purely she-goats. due to the fact that point, she-goats were sacrificed to Ifa. 1. Cf. verse 1-4. 2. Cf. the version of this story recorded through Frobenius (1926: 205-207). VI. T h e S a c r i f i c e s a n d M e d i c i n e s sixty seven The sacrifices are rituals in themselves, various from one example to a different, which the diviners needs to learn how to practice appropriately in the course of their interval of guideline. within the following instance the verse chosen (183-4) for a consumer considering a visit named 4 pigeons and 16,000 cowries (four shillings) because the sacrifice, to which lumps of cornstarch and a small volume of palm oil have been extra via particular choices. dried rats and dried fish were chosen because the adimu to accept to Ifa. the customer gave the diviner 4 shillings, which constituted his check, and 3 shillings six pence for his apprentice to buy the opposite fabrics out there. The 4 pigeons fee 3 shillings, notwithstanding smaller ones might have been bought for seven pence each one, whereas six pence lined the fish, rats, porridge, and palm oil. The determine Otura Irosun, which were solid with the divining chain, used to be marked within the divining powder at the tray, and 4 piles of leaves supplied through the diviner have been specified by entrance of the divining bag. the 2 lumps of cornstarch porridge have been damaged in part and one part used to be put on best of every pile of leaves. The 4 shillings supplied via the customer have been then put on the tray, with 8 cowries that have been to symbolize them, three and have been stirred intermittently within the divining powder whereas the diviner repeated the entire verses of Otura Irosun that he had formerly recited, maintaining the 4 pigeons in his left hand.