Iba o, Obeisance and homage
Awa juba o, to the elders,
Omode e lo se'ba agba o! Because a child must pay
homege to the elders.
Refrain: Iba o, Iba agba o!
Iba Akoda aye; Homage to the first man
Iba Aseda aye: Also homage to the first
woman of creation;
Iba Araba awo ode Oyo; Homage to the Araba of
Megba awo Remo; Courtesy to Megba of
Tedimole awo Ilare; Homage to Tedimole
courtesy of Ilare;
Kinrindin awo ode Idesa; Homage to Kinrindin
courtesy of Idesa;
Obakin awo Orisa; Also to Obakin of all
Awo ode Imodu de; courtesy of Imodude de;
Orinsesese awo Elegbudu; Homage to Orinsesese of
Agamurara awo ile Homage to Agamurara
Olodumare; courtesy of Olodumare;
Iba Alaja 'toun ogboro; Homage to the hunters
and their dog;
Ajogede 'toun agbagba; Also to the eaters of
bananas and plantains;
Alogidigbo to nfidi kodi; Homage to the
drummers in the shrines;
Eegun aye e seba Orun; Homage to masquerades
alive and beyond;
Iba atiyo ojo, iba atiwo Homage to the sunrise
Oorun; and the sunset;
Ikorita neta oseere magbo; Homage to the cross
Igba imole won o ju kotun; Homage to the
Orisa imole won o ju kosi; Homage to the
spirits and deities;
Olu igbo inu igbo, Olugbohun Homage to the genies
ile odan; of the jungles.
Iba Oko to dorikodo ti o somi; Homage to the
Iba obo to dorikodo to o seje; Homage to the
Omode e lo seba agba o!
Refrain: Iba o, iba agba o!
Chants: Oodua ni mi (3ce)
It is a great opportunity to be in your midst to celebrate the Ifa festival 2011. I equally thank the Chief Promoter of the Festival, Otunba (Dr.) Gani Adams for the interest he has in uplifting the Yoruba breaths --- our deities. The spirits of our forebears will lift you up too.
I like to begin this lecture with a question. And the question is ---- "What Is Ifa? The question to so many people, has no answer because they do not believe in it ---- not that they do not know what it is. Ifa, in a simple sentence, is a way of life. Even some people refer to it as a myth, but factually speaking, Ifa is relevant to all the creatures of Olodumare ---- be it the mother earth (Ile Ogere afoko yeri, alapo ika), the water (Iya arin masun), the air (Afefe) which is believed to be controlled by Iya and the fire (Ina), which of course, is also believed to be controlled by Sango who is also in charge of Thunder and Lighting. Those four elements make up the entity called human being ---- and some other kinds of creatures. That is why Eji-Ogbe says:
Odan in nsawo ninu ile;
Iki ni nsawo ode;
Kekere in won to npile awon;
To ba done tan;
A gba odo;
A gba olo;
A gba Odu baba ikoko.
Looking at this corpus of Ifa, the fishermen's nets you see everyday started with a knot. And when you cast it in the sea, it catches many fish. This is the way Ifa started our life. Eji Ogbe divines for mother-earth when the whole world was empty ---- when there was no one to live in it. From this corpus of Ifa, you will see how Ifa verses are the right words from Olodumare, the creator of all things.
Eji-Ogbe difa fun aye
Nigbati aye nsunkun alailenikan
Ifa ni ki aye wa a san.
That is, if the empty world ---- called AYE ----- wanted to enjoy usage, that it should pay homage and obeisance to Olodumare. That time, like I said earlier on, there were only four elements created alongside life: "mother-earth" gave birth to "water", water spurred "the air" and the air inspired "the fire". All these elements were present in life then.
Ifa ni ki aye san eku meji oluwere
Ko san eja meji abiru gbede
Ko san obidiye meji abedolukeluke
Kaye to ma a jaye
Aye san an
O san eku meji Oluwere
Eja meji abiru gbede
O san obidiye meji abedolukeluke
Atijo naa wa nile aye to nbe
In this verse, you can see how Olodumare made existence possible through Eji-Ogbe. That, the mother-earth was asked to sacrifice to Olodumare ---- two rats, two hens and two fish before the world could be what it is today. And of course, the mother-earth did it.
After all these sacrifices, the mother-earth was given the sand (Erupe) on which we all stand today. Aye (the mother-earth) is part of the verses of Ifa. " She san! Tani aye san fun? To whom did mother-earth pay? Olodumare. That is why the verse says ---- Aye san f"Olodumare"---- that is, the mother-earth paid (homage, honours, sacrifices, praises etc) to Olodumare. Ever since, the mother-earth started existing. That is why we say Ifa has the knowledge of the birth of the world. As a matter of Ifa gave birth to the world. And it does not stop there.
-----------To be continued
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