World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Opon Ifá

Article Id: WHEBN0041242602
Reproduction Date:

Title: Opon Ifá  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Myrmomancy, African traditional religions, Footreading, Jiaobei, Sternomancy
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Opon Ifá

An early 20th Century Opon Ifá divination tray, from the collection of the Brooklyn Museum

An Opon Ifá (known as La Mesa de Ifá in Latin America) is a divination tray used in traditional African and Afro-American religions, notably in Ifá and Yoruba tradition.[1]

A Babalawo (diviner) uses the Opon Ifá in order to communicate with the spirits who are able to identify the causes and solutions to personal and collective problems and restore harmony with the spirits.[2] Opon Ifás are flat and usually circular, between about 6 and 18 inches in diameter, with a raised outer edge carved with figures, objects, or geometric designs.[1] Opon Ifás may also be rectangular, semi-circular, or an approximate square.[1] The top of the tray is called the head, and the bottom, the foot - the latter is typically placed closest to the diviner. At the head is generally carved with a representation of Eshu, the messenger of Ifá and the other spirits.[1][3] Certain trays may have additional representations of Eshu, and trays with two, four, eight, and even sixteen faces have been seen.[1] In cases such as this the head of the tray may be marked by cowries.[1] The cowries are also used to spread the sacred divining powder.[1]

Rectangular Opon Ifá tray

On the Opon Ifá, the Babalawo throws sixteen palm or kola nuts onto the flat wooden surface, and determines which eight of the 256 possible sets of Odus (signs) are displayed. The signs have correlating verses which must be chanted, and chosen according the client's particular situation.[2][3] In many traditions, a divination chain known as Opele has replaced the palm or kola nuts, which are reserved for more serious questions.[3]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ a b c


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 USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov 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 Project Gutenberg 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.