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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.

Prayer: Orunmila (The Spirit of Destiny)

Photography: Will Coleman Ph.D. Awo Ifa (divination bowl).

Oriki Orunmila

Oriki Orunmila are invocations used in Ifa ritual to praise the historical prophet who founded Ifa religion.

Òrúnmìlà, Bara Agboniregun, 

Spirit of Destiny, the word and rebounding force, 

adese omilese a — mo — ku — Ikuforiji Olijeni Oba — Olofa -Asunlolanini — omo — Oloni Olubesan, 

We call you by your names of power. 

Erintunde Edu Ab’ikujigbo alajogun igbo — Oba — igede para petu opitan —elufe amoranmowe da ara re Òrúnmìlà. Iwo li o ko oyinbo l’ona odudupasa. 

Power is reborn to defend against the powers of death and destruction, the power of Transformation is with the Spirit of Destiny, There are no strangers on the road of Mystery 

A ki igb’ogun l’ajule Orun da ara Òrúnmìlà. A ki if’agba Merindinlogun sile k’a sina. 

We praise the medicine of the Forest that comes from the Invisible Realm of the Immortals through the Spirit of Destiny. We praise the sixteen sacred principles of the Creator. 

Ma ja, ma ro Elerin Ipin ibikeji Edumare. F’onahan ‘ni Òrúnmìlà. 

I call on the Witness to Creation, second to the Creator. My road to salvation is the Spirit of Destiny. 

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ORIKI ESU IJELU

(Praising the Divine Messenger of the Drum)

Esu Ijelu, Esu Ijelu, Esu Ijelu o gbe yin o. Elegbeje ado. Esu Ijelu, Esu Ijelu,

The Divine Messenger of the Drum, The Divine Messenger of the Drum. May the Divine Messenger of the Drum protects you. Owner of a thousand gourds, the Divine Messenger of the Drum, the Divine Messenger of the Drum.

Esu Ijelu o gbe yin o. Elegbeje ado, Esu Ijelu, Laptopa Esu Ijelu kenke,

May the Divine Messenger of the Drum protect you. You are the owner of a thousand gourds. The Divine Messenger of the Drum,Novel one, the Divine Messenger of the Drum, do not confront me,

Latopa Esu Ijelu Kenke, Latopa Esu Ijelu kenke, Las eni dako Onilu o,

Novel one, the Divine Messenger of the Drum, do not confront me. Novel one, The Divine Messenger of the drum, do not confront me. The one who circumcised the Drummer,

Esu Ijelu dako Onilu o.

The Divine Messenger of the Drum circumcised the Drummer.

Ase.

May it be so.

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ORIKI OGUN

(Praising the Spirit of Iron)

Ba san ba pon ao lana to. Bi obi ba pon ao lana to. B'orogbo ba pon ao lana to.

Cut down the obstacles on the road. When the cola nut is ripe it opens the road. When the bitter cola is bitter it opens the road.

B'yay ba pon ao lana to. B'eyin ba pon ao lana to. Da fun Ogun awo.

When the fruit is ripe it opens the road. When the palm fruit is ripe it opens the road. The Spirit of Iron gives you his secret.

Ni jo ti ma lana lati ode. Orun wa si is salu aiye. Fun ire eda.

Dancing outside opens the road. Heaven comes to earth. For the benefit of all people.

Ase.

May it be so.

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ORIKI OBATALA

(Praising the Chief of the White Cloth)

Obanla o rin n'eru ojikutu s'eru

Chief of the White Cloth never fears the coming of Death.

Oba n'ile Ifon alabalase oba patapata n'ile iranje

Father of Heaven forever rule for all generations

O yo kelekele o ta mi l'ore. O gba a giri l'owo osika

He disolves the burdens of my friends. Give me the power to manifest abundance.

O fi l'emi asoto l'owo. Oba igbo oluwaiye re e o kee bi owu la

Expose the Mystery of Abundance. Father of the sacred grove, owner of all blessings increase my wisdom.

O yi aala. Osun l'aala o fi koko aala rumo. Oba igbo.

I become like the white  Cloth. Protector of White Cloth I salute you. You are the Father of the sacred grove.

Ase.

May it be so.

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ORIKI OLOKUN

(Praising the Spirit of the Ocean)

Malokun bu owo wa, jimi tete nuwa o. Oba omi ju Oba oke.

Spirit of the Ocean, please give me abundance so that I may become wealthy quickly. The Spirit of the Ocean is greater than the chief of the land.

Malokun ni mo ba da jimi tete nuwa o. Oba omi ju Oba oke.

It is the Spirit of the Ocean that I turn to for abundance. The Spirit of the Ocean is greater than the chief of the land.

Ase.

May it be so.

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ORIKI OSHUN

(Praising the Spirit of the River)

Iba Osun sekese, Latojuku awede we mo. Iba Osun Olodi, Latojuku awede w e mo. Iba Osun ibu kole, Latojuku awede we mo.

Praise to the Spirit of Mystery, Spirit who cleans me inside out. Praise to the Spirit of the River, Spirit who cleans me inside out. Praise to the Spirit of Seduction, Spirit who cleans me inside out.

Yeye kari, Yeye'jo, Yeye opo, O san rere o. Mbe mbe ma yeye, mbe mbe l'oro.

Mother of the mirror, Mother of Dance, Mother of abundance, we sing your praises. Exist, exist always mother, exist always in our tradition.

Ase.

May it be so.

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ORIKI OYA

(Praising the Spirit of the Wind)

Ajalaiye, Ajal orun, fun mi ire. Iba Yansan.

The winds of Earth and Heaven bring me good fortune. Praise to the mother of nine.

Ajalaiye, Aja lorun, fun mi alafia. Iba Oya.

The winds of Earth and Heaven bring me good health. Praise to the Spirit of the Wind.

Ajalaiye, Ajal orun winiwini. Mbe mbe ma Yansan.

The Winds of Earth and Heaven are wondrous. May there always be a Mother of Nine.

Ase.

May it be so.

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ORIKI SANGO

(Praising the Spirit of Lightning)

Je ko ye mi Sango baalee Kosoo. Aremu baale Agorandum.

May I be pleased Spirit of Lightning. Aremu chief helper.

O o gborann mi dun dakun mo ya mi. Aremu njo o buru igba nii gbope

Please defend me, do not reject me. Aremu at difficult times the climbing rope encircles the palm tree.

Aranmonlogunabamolo Kakombari Aroorajaoogun.

He sends his servants toi war, he goes with them. Kakombari who has enough money toi buy ingredients to prepare charms.

O too bora njo kan an ponju. Eye o ku ojumo

He is enough defender on a bad day. He is as fast as a flying bird, good morning.

O si ku ojumo Sango okolaya mi Orun.

Good morning Spirit of Lightning, my husband in Heaven.

Ase.

May it be so.

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ORIKI YEMOJA

(Praising the Spirit of the Mother of Fishes)

Agbe ni igbe're ki Yemoja Ibikeji odo. Aluko ni igbe're k'lose, ibikeji odo.

It is the bird that takes good fortune to the Spirit of the Mother of Fishes, The Goddess of the Sea.

Ogbo odidere i igbe're k'oniwo. Omo at'Orun gbe'gba aje ka'ri w'aiye.

It is the parrot that takes good fortune to the chief of Iwo. It is children who bring good fortune from Heaven to Earth.

Olugbe-rere ko, Olugbe-rere ko, Olugbe-rere ko. Gbe rere ko ni olu-gbe-rere.

The Great One who gives good things, the Great One who gives good things, the Great One who gives good things. Give me good things from the Great One who gives good things.

Ase.

May it be so.

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ORIKI OSANYIN

(Praising the Spirit of Herbal Medicine)

Atoobajaye o Afonja Eweeelere oo. Eweeee. Eweeelere oo.

The adequate protector. Afonja there is value in the knowledge of herbs. Herbs. There is value in the knowledge of herbs.

Ewe ni nse o bayi bi. Oko laya mi Orun. Eweeee. Eweeelere oo.

It is the knowledge of herbs that makes you behave like this. You are my husband in Heaven Herbs. There is value in the knowledge of herbs.

Saeerejobi ewe tii somo ori igi. Ipin bawonyi n somo agbijale.

Seerejobi leaves belong to the top of trees no matter how tall. Poisonous insects defend Mother Earth.

Eweeee. Eweeelere oo.

Herbs. there is value in the knowledge of herbs.

Ase.

May it be so.

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ORIKI OSSOSI OBINRIN

(Praising the Female Spirit of the Tracker)

Osolikere, Asa la ko gbo ogun, Odide mataode. Odide gan fi di ja. Ase.

Magician of the forest, the hawk that collects the medicine, Spotted parrot, parrot of twenty spots, parrot who guides me beyond fear. May it be so.

Ode ata matase agbani nijo to buru, Oni idide gan fi di ja, a juba. Ase.

Hunter who never misses, Wise Spirit who offers may blessings, Owner of the parrot that guides me to overcome fear, I salute you. May it be so.

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ORIKI IBEJI

(Praising the Spirit of Twins)

B'eji b'eji'la, o be ekun Iya re. Ase.

Give birth to twins and be rich, twins console their weeping mothers. May it be so.

B'eji b'eji're. B'eji b'eji'la. B'eji b'eji'wo. Iba omo ire. Ase.

Giving birth to twins brings good fortune. Giving birth to twins brings abundance. Giving birth to twins brings money. Praise to the children of good things. May it be so.

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