The Yoruba and 16 Marks of Transformation
The origins of the Yoruba can be traced back to the land that was once known as KMT (Egypt). It is believed that during antiquity, the people of KMT migrated to what is known today as Nigeria and met with the Nok Culture, the original inhabitants of the land. According to M. Omoleya, Archaeologists believe that Nigeria was inhabited by the Nok possibly 40 thousand years ago.
Video of the Origins of the Nok Culture
Just as the land of their origin, the Yoruba practiced a religious and cultural order that govern the people of the land individually in their homes, as well as society. Depending on Dafa, a form of divination performed by initiates of Ifa, devotees would initiate into Egungun, Orisa or Ifa, the primary cultural make up of an Ifa society. They would also consult Ifa for important matters such as, but not limited to marriage, child birth and death.
Ifa Initiate Performing Dafa (Ifa Divination)
The Dynamics of the Opon Ifa, The Ifa Divination Tray
The Egungun society can be associated with ancestors. The Orisa society can be associated with the forces of nature, i.e., the wind, fire, the river, etc., and the Ifa society encompass the all with the wisdom from Olodumare brought to and spread by the Yoruba by Orunmila, which can be understood as the prophet of Ifa.
Footage from Egungun Reverence in Atlanta, Ga.
Orisa (Yemoja) Worship
The 16 Marks Odu Ifa
According to Awo Falokun Fatunmbi,
“The verses of Odu Ifa are symbolized by variations on eight marks positioned in two columns of four marks. Each column is referred to as a leg of Ifa. The four positions on one leg of Ifa are formed with either a single line or a double line. This creates sixteen possible combinations on each column (2x2x2x2=16). When two legs of Ifa are combined there are two hundred and fifty-six possible combinations (16×16=256).”
Brief Interpretation of the Odu Ifa by Awo Falokun Fatunmbi, from his book “Dafa: The Ifa Concept of Divination and The Process of Interpreting Odu”
Ogbe creates an open road
Oyeku creates an end to a cycle
Iwori creates transformation
Odi creates rebirth
Irosun creates fulfillment of potential
Owonrin creates unexpected change
Obara creates inner transformation
Okanran creates new directions and new possibilities
Ogunda creates the removal of obstacles
Osa creates radical change in circumstances
Otorupon creates the maintenance of health
Otura creates mystic vision
Irete creates determination
Ose creates abundance through prayer
Ofun creates the answer to prayers manifesting as a miracle