Showcasing the art and ritual of the African and African-diaspora religions

Ifa Divination Tray Lapel Pin

Catalog Number: M016/B298


2.21"x 1.78" x 0.32"

53.72 mm x 45.09 mm x 8.17 mm

Religion and Denomination: Ocha (Cuba, Yoruba)
Transatlantic Family of Religion: Orisha
Country of Origin: United States
Ethnographic Origin: African-American
Materials: Metal
Usage: Tourist/Souvenir
Detailed Description of Significance:

Ifá divination may be performed in one of two ways: first, by throwing the 8-part Ọpẹlẹ divination chain, called the Ocuele in Cuba, each segment of which generates one of two possible results or, second, by holding 16 palmnuts in one hand and striking the other hand with them 8 times, such that either one palmnut falls or two palmnuts fall into the other hand.  Each method generates one of 256 possible permutations which can be written in sawdust (iyerosun) on the divination board.  Each of these permutations corresponds to an odu, or chapter, of the Ifa divinatory orature. Each odu corresponds to stories, songs, and ritual prescriptions for the solution of the supplicant’s problem.  Yet each odu is also a divinity in its own right. 

The markings on this lapel pin correspond to the odù called Ọ̀yẹ̀kú Méjì. This odu is a warning of death and sudden change. If this Odu appears, the ritual associated with it should be performed in order to drive away death. Because the ritual mitigates the effect, this Odu is associated with long life.  Hence, says Talabi Adedoyin Faniyi (12/22/16), a sick person who consults with a diviner, this odu emerges, and the supplicant follows the dictates of the odu, the supplicant will not die.