Ifa Divination

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Department of Islamic Studies, Nasarawa State University, Keffi


Relationships in a cultural dynamic like, religion, account for wider patterns of relationships among human societies. Understanding the cultural dynamics of a society is an imperative in to understanding their value system. In a predominantly Yoruba society, ifa is believed to be the springboard of Yoruba culture. Virtually every aspect of Yoruba life- religion and culture - links to /fa in one way or another. Previous studies have not related Ifa divination with some other • divination forms. This study seeks to fill this gap, using works that relies substantially on /fa literary texts, and Ifa literary corpus. Semiotics and prototype approaches are utilized for data analyses with relevant data samples carefully selected. By comparing Ifa divination symbols with Eerindlnlogun (sixteen cowries), obi dlda (cola-nut divination), Agbigba (system which employs a set of separate strings with four markers each) olokunlomi (water 'gazing), and yanrin tit? (sand cutting), it is observed that, Ifa divination features are employed in their system of divinations. The study found that, Ifa divination features influence some features of other divination types earlier. The shared features make Ifa to be the prototype of other forms of Yoruba divinations.



Ifa divination, Odu, Semiotics, Eerindinlogun, Obi dida, Agbigba