VOCABULARY

Ábọrú Àbọyè Àbọṣíṣẹ  - Greeting given to Awo of Ifá and meaning may all your spiritual work be excepted and manifest successfully

Àṣẹ  -  Affirmation,  may it be so

Awo – Initiated person to the mystery systems of Ifa and Òrìṣà

Bàbá – Father

Babaláwo – Learned and trained priest of Ifa

Egúngún – Ancestor

Ìbà – Pay homage

Ibi – negative fortune

Ifa – is a spiritual healing system used to achieve mental, physical and spiritual health by the people in Yoruba Land in Sub Saharan Africa. This spiritual system was introduce to the people by the Òrìṣà Òrúnmìlà

Ire – positive fortune

Irúnmọlẹ̀ – are heavenly beings that exist as a community in the heavens. Olódùmarè sent down 401 to earth to prepare it for human kind. Out of the 401 Olódùmarè deemed some to be distinguished from the others as Òrìṣà based on there actions and deeds.

Ise'fa  – First Hand of Ifa

  • Ise'fa is the first step into Ifa initiation. During this initiation one receives their 1st Ifa Shrine. It is an introductory shrine that will bring many blessings to ones life. In addition to receiving Ise’fa Hand of Ifa, one will receive an Odu and a reading of that Odu that will give on very important information that will guide ones life to achieve their greatest highest. Ones Orisha will be determined through this Odu and reading and this Odu will be governing this person until Ite’fa (Ifa Initiation) if this person chooses to make such a a commitment.

Ìtẹ’fa  - the initiation ceremony to Ifá

Ìyá – Mother

Mojùbà – I pay homage

Obì – kola nut, many favorite Òrìṣà

Ogbó Ató – An affirmation that may your greeting and pray manifest. (Responding to Ábọrú Àbọyè Àbọṣíṣẹ)

Olódùmarè – the most high, one and only creator of this universe

Olórìsà– Initiated person to the mysteries of the Ò

Olùwo – God father – master teacher

Ọmọ Awo – God child, student to a master teacher or Olùwo

Orí – ones physical head and spiritual head

Oriki Orunmila – Praise Names for Orunmila

  • Elerii ipin – Witness to creation
  • Ibikeji Olodumare – Second in rank to Olodumare (God)
  • Orisa ti ngbe nkan ole gun – Orisa that strengthens things for the weak
  • Baba Esu Odara – Esu Odara's father (meaning Esu ' s superior)
  • Opitan Ife – Great historian of Ife (the world). 
  • A tun ori eni ti ko sunwon se – Changer of ill luck to good luck
  • A je ju oogun – He that manifests more effectively than charms /medicine
  • Baba Agbonniregun – Baba, sacred palm tree is the heritage

Òrìṣà – are Irúnmọlẹ̀ that later where promoted to the status of Orisa. They are forces of nature that exist in our world and were create by Olódùmarè to assist in living in harmony with our environment.

Òrúnmìlà – is an Irúnmọlẹ̀ that was created by Olódùmarè to assist all beings to achieve their destiny on earth making him the god of wisdom. Òrúnmìlà is also the Witness to Olódùmarè’s creations making him the adviser and consultant to all beings in the universe.

  • Òrúnmìlà spread the knowledge of Ifá through oral traditions and by allowing his students to apprentice him. His first disciple and student was named Akọ́dá. His second disciple and student was named Aṣẹ̀dá. These two are the most famous out of Òrúnmìlà.


 

16 BASIC RULES OF LIVING LIFE AS DEVOTEE TO IFA

  1. Tell the truth, don’t claim to know something that you don’t know.

  2. Perform rituals and ceremonies that one has mastery of. Don’t do things one does not know how to do.

  3. Lead yourself and others with truth. Don’t mislead people.

  4. Advise people with truth and fact. Don’t deceive people.

  5. Demonstrate humility at all times. Don’t allow ego to influence ones actions.

  6. Be trust worthy at all times. Don’t be dishonest to ones self or others.

  7. Follow ones laws and laws that are given to them. Don’t break taboo.

  8. Respect ones self, others, and all sacred items of Ifa and Orisa.

  9. Provide for those less fortunate.

  10. Respect and be humble to all elders.

  11. Respect and Follow all traditional moral laws.

  12. Hold oaths and secrets to be sacred. Don’t break oaths and reveals secrets.

  13. Take care and provide for all children.

  14. Honor ones ancestors.

  15. Contribute to ones community.

  16. Respect the all mighty Creator of this Universe.

 


Ojú Odù Mẹ́rìndílógún (The 16 principle Odú Ifá)

Ojú Odù  (The 16 principle Odu Ifa) 

Èjì Ogbè to Òfún Méjì 

Èjì Ogbè

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Ọ̀yẹ̀kú Méjì

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Ìwòrì Méjì

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Òdí Méjì

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Ìrosùn Méjì

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Ọ̀wọ́rín Méjì

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Ọ̀bàrà Méjì

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Ọ̀kànràn Méjì

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Ògúndá Méjì

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Ọ̀sá Méjì

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Ìká Méjì

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Òtúrúpọ̀n Méjì

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Òtúrá Méjì

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Ìrẹtè Méjì

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Ọ̀ṣẹ́ Méjì

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Òfún Méjì

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DAYS OF THE WEEK IN YORUBA

( Àwọn Ojọ́ Ilẹ̀ Yorùbá): 

-Ọjọ́ Àìkú - Sunday (Day of Not Dying or Immortality)

-Ọjọ́ Ajé - Monday (Day of Profit, Business or Trade)

-Ọjọ́ Ìṣẹ́gun - Tuesday (Day of Victory or Triumph)

-Ọjọ́-Rírú/Ọjọ́rú - Wednesday (Day of Confusion, Chaos or Day of Sacrificing)

-Ọjọ́bọ̀/Ọjọ́ Àṣẹ̀ṣẹ̀ Dáyé - Thursday (Day of Coming or Day of Recent Creation)

-Ọjọ́ Ẹtì - Friday (Day of Failure)

-Ọjọ́ Àbá Mẹ́ta - Saturday (Day of Three Suggestions)


Greetings

Ìkíni, or greeting is a very imperative part of the Yoruba culture. It is a way of showing respect to elders and important figures in the community. In Yoruba culture we use "honorific pronouns" these function just as they are named, to honor and pay respect. It can be seen as disrespectful and rude if one does not greet in the proper way. It is also important to note that a younger person should always initiate the greeting to an older person.

1) When greeting an elder, an important figure, or someone your senior an "E" should be placed in front of the greeting.

                   Example : káàárọ̀         Good morning to (an important figure, senior to you)

2) When greeting a person who is junior to you it is appropriate to greet them with the pronoun O
                   Example: O káàárọ̀        Good morning to a person your junior

 

Greetings (Time of Day)     One should always greet an elder with the appropriate time of day salutation initially.

Ẹ káàárọ̀     Good morning

Ẹ káàsán    Good afternoon

Ẹ káàlé        Good evening

O dáàrọ̀      Good night

O dáàbọ̀     Goodbye

Girls should kneel and boys should prostrate before an elder or an important figure.


THE TONAL LANGUAGE

 Yoruba is a tonal language so it is important to acquire the tones in the language. Tones occur on the syllable but in the orthography, tones are marked on vowels and syllabic nasals. There are three basic tones of different pitch levels in Yoruba: High, Mid and Low. In the writing system, the High and Low are marked with (´) and (`) respectively, over the vowel. The mid tone is generally unmarked except where there might be ambiguity or confusion. In this case, it is marked with an over-bar.

The High tone   ´                as in         wá     ;    rí     ;   dé            wárídé

The Mid tone unmarked    as inwa     ;   ri     ;    dewaride

The Low tone  `                 as in         wà     ;   rì     ;    dè            wàrìdè

A way to consider the three level Yoruba tones is to think of the music note to which they correlate: Do Re Mi

Tone: Musical note correlation                            

  1. ´   the musical tone is -  mi       as i               ró         ‘tie around (waist)’       bá  = ‘to meet up’   
  2. their is no marking - the musical tone isre   as in =  ro         ‘to hoe/farm’   ba‘to hide’
  3. `   the musical tone is -  do         as in           rò         ‘to think (about)’           bà        ‘to strike/hit

YORUBA ALPHABET

A - ajá  /  ‘dog’                            

B – bàtà  /  ‘shoe

C – cyc  /  ‘bird’    

D – dzj  /  'sickle’                          

E – ejò  /  ‘snake’

F - fila  /  ‘hat’

G – gèlè  /  ‘headgear’                  

GB - gbàgbá  /  ‘type of vegetable’

H – haúsá  /  ‘Northern Nigerian’       

I – igi  /  ‘tree’

J – jàgùdà  /  ‘thief’                           

K – kàkàkí  /  ‘trumpet’         

L – labalábá  /  ‘butterfly’                   

M – maalu  /  ‘cow’   

N – naira  /  ‘Nigerian currency’     

O – owo  /  ‘money’

P – pàkúté  /  ‘trap’

R – ràkúnmí  /  ‘camel’                       

S – sálúbàtà  /   ‘slippers’              

T – tata  /  ‘grasshopper’

U – isU  /  ‘yam’                          

V – zpzl  /  ‘frog’                           

W – Wàhálà  /  ‘trouble’

X – xíbí  /  ‘spoon’         

Y – yànmùyánmú  /  ‘mosquito’

 


Bitter Kola

  • Bitter Kola also known as Garcinia kola is a tropical flowering plant found in western and central Africa and it produces brown, nut-like seeds.

  • The nut which is about 3-5 cm in length has an ellipsoid shape. A brown to deep brown peel covers it. This peel is removed before it is eaten. It leaves a bitter taste in the mouth when it is eaten. It is this bitterness that its name is derived.

  • It has been used in African culture for centuries for both traditional and medicinal purposes. It contains dimeric flavonoid, lipase inhibitor which is believed to have many healing benefits.

  • In Yoruba land it is called Orogbo. The Hausas call it Miji-goro, while it is called Akiilu by the Igbos.*

  • Bitter Kola was eaten mostly by the elderly people because of their belief that it could prolong life. But the truth is that researches in modern science have revealed that bitter kola contains chemical compounds that will help the breakdown of glycogen in the liver and has other medicinal uses which account for its longevity property in man.

  • Bitter kola is anti-poison too

  • The naturalist even said that the seed and the bark of bitter kola should be eaten together in cases where food poisoning is suspected, “it helps to detoxify the system”. Indeed, it really works!

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7 amazing Benefits of Bitter kola

 

  1.  Bitter kola health benefit for malaria

Considerable experimental studies found that chemical constituents in bitter kola have anti-malaria properties. That aside, traditional healers have for many years prescribed bitter kola for the treatment of malaria infections.
Researchers who reported that bitter kola had anti-malaria effect in the 2010 issue of Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, from a survey of plants used by traditional healers in the Democratic Republic of Congo, attributed this to its quinones content.
Further more, kolaviron, the powerful chemical compound found in bitter kola, was reportedly tested on a malaria parasite and found to inhibit malarial activity.

2.  Bitter kola improves lung functions

Bitter kola (Garcinia kola) has been used for centuries to treat chest colds in traditional medicine, but research has taken a look and found out why it is effective. A study in the 2009 issue of The Internet Journal of Pulmonary Medicine, performed on mice, reports that Garcinia kola improved respiratory function after 28 days of use of a Garcinia extract.

Written by Simon Adekunle of the Ekiti State University in Nigeria, the study shows that Garcinia kola works by dilating the alveolar ducts and sacs in the lungs by improving the strength of the fibers in the lung tissue. Bitter kola’s beneficial lung properties are attributed to its high antioxidant content.



3.  Reduces eye pressure (Glaucoma)

An increase in eye pressure can lead to glaucoma, according to a report from The New York Times Health Guide. Researchers at Lagos University Teaching Hospital in Nigeria tested the effectiveness of eye drops that contained 0.5 percent extract of Garcinia kola. The results of their study, published in the January 2010 issue of Middle East African Journal of Opthamology, showed that the opthamolic solution that contained the Garcinia significantly reduced eye pressure when used twice a day.



4. It helps in weight loss

Bitter Kola has been known to be a natural hunger suppressant and also increases the urge to drink more water.



5. Health benefit for HIV

Bitter kola is a potent antibiotic which could be efficacious in the treatment of HIV and AIDS. A researcher with the Nigeria Natural Medicine Development Agency (NNMDA), Mrs. Chinyere Nwokeke said that bitter kola could be used in treating opportunistic infections associated with HIV.

She said: “Bitter kola is highly recommended in the treatment of HIV and AIDS because of its antibacterial, detoxification, and cleansing properties”. She also said that the chemical, Saponin, in bitter kola is responsible for its cleansing effect. Saponin is mainly used as tonic for the liver, it enhances the functions of the liver and gall bladder.


6. It improves male fertility

Garcinia kola, also called bitter kola is sometimes believed to cure impotence. Frequent taking of bitter kola boosts a man’s performance in bed with a woman.



7. Remedy for osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, characterized by pain, inflammation and limited movement in the joints, according to the National Institutes of Health. Causes of osteoarthritis can include joint injury, obesity and aging.

Since many arthritis sufferers prefer natural herbal medicines to other pain relievers and medications, researchers at Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria tested the effects of Garcinia kola against arthritis symptoms. The results of the study, written by Olayinka O. Adegbehingbe and published in the July 2008 issue of the Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research, conclude that Garcinia kola significantly reduced inflammation and pain and increased joint movement in subjects that had osteoarthritis symptoms.

Another importance of bitter kola is that its repels snakes. It can be used to chase snakes away. For snake prevention, spread it around the building.

*It would be recalled that Nigeria’s world renowned Professor, Maurice Iwu during the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) said bitter kola could be used to prevent EVD*