By William Bascomb
"The sacred texts of Ifa, repository of the collected knowledge of numerous generations of Yoruba humans, are a useful resource not just for all scholars of African oral literature and Yoruba civilization, but in addition for destiny generations attracted to the continued energy of Ifa divination and a Yoruba lifestyle and thought." —Henry Drewal
This landmark research of Ifa, an important and complicated procedure of divination of the Yoruba humans of Nigeria, continues to be a huge contribution to scholarship in anthropology, folklore, faith, philosophy, linguistics, and African and African-American studies.
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Extra info for Ifa Divination: Communication Between Gods and Men in West Africa
Lfa -----. ! fa 168-1. forty four. ! fa 222-1. forty five. This informant stated that he had heard an Ifa verse with Frobenius' story 25 in it, yet that he himself had now not realized it; and unquestionably the share might have been elevated by means of pursuing the problem with different diviners. as well as those seven verses 3 others (48-1, 86-1, 153-1) and versions of 3 extra (14-1, 170-3, 245-2) are discovered as stories in collections of Yoruba folklore. it truly is most likely really secure to imagine that the fifteen Ifa 132 Ifa Divination myths three provided right here partly I, and that every one Yoruba and F9n stories which point out Ifa divination or diviners, are to be present in the Ifa verses (e. g. Walker and Walker, 1961: 71-75; Herskovits and Herskovits, 1958: 173214). a few diviners continue that each one Yoruba myths and folktales are derived from Ifa verses; one admitted that he had heard stories for which he didn't be aware of the linked verses himself, yet he insisted that there are not any folktales which shouldn't have linked verses. it might probably as simply be argued, and it really is much more likely more often than not, that conventional myths and stories were integrated into the verses. Many stories and motifs within the verses, in reality, are generally unfold in Africa. not just has the tale approximately Lizard's bride (54-5) been recorded as a folktale via Frobenius, yet Motif 2474. 1, "Why lizard bobs his head up and down," appears to be like in relatively diversified stories informed one of the Ekoi (Talbot, 1912: 378-380), the Ibo (Basden, 1921: 278-279), the Fr;m (Herskovi. ts and Herskovits, 1958: 324-326), the Ewe (Courlander, 1963: 41-44), and the Ashanti (Courlander and Prempeh, 1957: 70-76), in Togo (Cardinali, 1931: 170173) and Ghana (Barker and Sinclair, 1917: 45-49; Itayemi and Gurrey, 1953: 99-100), and one of the a ways far away Bemba of Zambia (Courlander, 1963: 98100). The narrative approximately Fly and Birdlime (245-2) could be a version of the frequent story sort one hundred seventy five, "Tar child and the Rabbit," whose African analogues frequently alternative birdlime for tar, pitch, or different sticky components (Klipple, n. d. : 213-233); extra traditional tar child tales were said for the Yoruba in numerous assets. If extra wer·e identified approximately African story kinds with no international analogues, it should most likely be attainable to spot the various narratives within the Ifa verses as story forms. as well as the story of Fly and Birdlime, it sort of feels most probably that the seven Ifa narratives recorded via Frobenius as Yoruba folktales, and 7 others will end up to be story kinds. Others, after all, may possibly characterize story forms additionally. in simple terms Yoruba types were stumbled on for a few of these fifteen stories, yet of those there are models for verses 14-1 and 54-5, 3 for 1703, 4 for 86-1, 5 for 168-1 and 222-1, and 6 for 225-4. a few stories, despite the fact that, are extra well known in West Africa, and will be taken as story forms although an index of African story kinds continues to be compiled. the story of Eshu's - or four-colored cap which explanations neighbors to struggle after they commence arguing approximately what colour it's (48-1) has been recorded in 4 Yoruba types and in an analogue from the Mpongwe of Gabon which contains a two-colored coat-half crimson and part blue (Milligan, 1912: 57).