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African Traditional Religions: Ifa

This guide, created by the Atlanta University Center Woodruff Library with funding from the Atla OER Grant Program, exists as an Open Educational Resource on "African Traditional Religions: Ifa." Content licensed CC-BY-NC 4.0.

Chapter 3: All of Creation is Inside the Calabash

Photography: Will Coleman, Ph.D.  

Although the opon Ifa (described previously) looks like a "plate," it is a representation of robust multidimensional spheres of interconnectivity.  Keep this in mind as you read the information contained within this chapter.   Like the earth, it is not flat.


“Everything is inside of the calabash.” This is one of my favorite ways of describing the cosmo-genesis, cosmo-geography, sociology and psychology of the Ifa worldview or perspective.  It is not dualistic or dichotomous.  Instead, everything is contained with a unified perspective of which the calabash (sphere) is an appropriate representation.  It is a multidimensional, all-inclusive sphere that contains and sustains a multi-tiered universe, macrocosmically and microcosmically.

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