Ifa Divination Poetry by Wande Abimbola

Pamela J. Olúbùnmi Smith, University of Nebraska at Omaha

This article was reused with kind permission.


Until the publication of Wande Abimbola's !fa Divin­ation Poetry much of the scant information available on the fascinating but complex Ifa geomantic system, commonly identified with the Yoruba of Western Nigeria, has been limited to the general comments of anthropologists and folklorists, whose studies of the system have been less significant parts of larger studies. !fa Divination Poetry is the product of long years of apprenticeship, diligent data collecting from renowned Ifa priests and research. This literary work is appropriately divided into two parts. The first part is a brief history of the elaborate system of divina­tion and an introduction designed to familiarize the gen­eral reader with a structural, stylistic and thematic analysis of Ifa divination poetry. Part two consists of textual ma­terial-sixty-four poems of Ifa presented in their Yoruba original version and adequately annotated in English trans­lation.