World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0000099390
Reproduction Date:

Title: Orunmila  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Yoruba religion, Ifá, Yorùbá medicine, Yoruba calendar, Babalawo
Collection: African Traditional Religions, Afro-American Religion, Divination, Oracular Gods, Santería, Wisdom Gods, Yoruba Deities, Yoruba Gods
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Orunmila (known as Orúnmila, Orunmilá, Orúnla, or Orúla in Nigeria and Latin America) is an Orisha. He is the Orisha of wisdom, knowledge, and divination. This source of knowledge is believed to have a keen understanding of the human form and of purity, praised as being often more effective than other remedies. Orunmila is recognized as a primordial Irunmole that was present both at the beginning of Creation and then again amongst them as a priest that taught an advanced form of spiritual knowledge and ethics, during visits to earth in physical form or through his disciples. Orunmila is the spirit of wisdom among the Irunmole and the divinity of destiny and prophecy. He is "Ibikeji Olodumare" (second in command to Olodumare) and "eleri ipin" (witness of fate). It was also Orunmila who carried Ifá (the wisdom of Olodumare) to Earth. Priests of Ifá are known as babalawo's and Priestess's of Ifá are known as Iyanifa's.

Orunmila is considered a sage, recognizing that Olodumare placed Ori (intuitive knowledge) as prime Orisha. It is Ori who can intercede and affect the reality of a person much closer than any Orisha.


  • Priesthood and initiation 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • Resources 4

Priesthood and initiation

Awo in every tradition study the 256 Odu; each Odu is traditionally considered to include stories and prayers that have been passed down from the time that Orunmila walked the Earth as a prophet.

Some initiatory lineages have only male priests of Orunmila, while other lineages include female priestesses. The term "Awo" is a gender-neutral title for an initiated priest of Orunmila. The debate surrounding gender is a result of diversity in the history of Ifá in various locations. In Latin America and some areas of West Africa, only men may become full priests of Orunmila, while in other regions of West Africa the priesthood is open to women. Ifá practitioners believe in the duality in life: males exist because of the female essence and females exist because of the male essence, so every major rite or ceremony includes both genders.

Every Ifá stanza has one portion dedicated to the issue of teaching the Iwa that Ifá supports. This Iwa, which Ifá teaches transcend religious doctrine is central to every human being, and imparts communal, social and civic responsibility that Olodumare supports. Central to this is the theme of righteousness[1] and practicing good moral behavior.

See also


  1. ^ Ifaloju , Iwòrì Méjì: Ifá speaks on Righteousness, (an extract from S.S. Popoola, Ifa Dida, Library, INC) 2011


  • Chief S. Solagbade Popoola & Fakunle Oyesanya, Ikunle Abiyamo: The ASE of Motherhood 2007. ISBN 978-0-9810013-0-2
  • Chief S. Solagbade Popoola Library, INC Ifa Dida Volume One (EjiOgbe - Orangun Meji) ISBN 978-0-9810013-1-9
  • Chief S. Solagbade Popoola Library, INC Ifa Dida Volume Two (OgbeYeku - OgbeFun) ISBN 978-1-926538-12-9
  • Chief S. Solagbade Popoola Library, INC Ifa Dida Volume Three (OyekuOgbe - OyekuFun) ISBN 978-1-926538-24-2
  • James J. Kulevich, "The Odu of Lucumi: Information on all 256 Odu Ifa"
  • Ayele Fa'seguntunde' Kumari, Iyanifa:Women of Wisdom ISBN 978-1500492892
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.