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Ifá is the divination system practiced by both the Yoruba people of Nigeria and devotees of Yoruba-influenced traditions such as Santería and Lucumí throughout the African diaspora. Some devotees also refer to the orisha (also orisa; orixá) or deity, associated with divination—Orunmila—by the name Ifá as well. This entry will describe Orunmila and the Ifá divination practices for which he is responsible.

Orunmila, the Deity of Ifá

Of the over 400 deities that are venerated in Yoruba cosmology, it is Orunmila—also sometimes called Ifá—who witnessed all of creation and was responsible for giving each plant and animal its name. Yoruba cosmology also supports the idea that before being born, humans select their destinies in heaven. Orunmila is witness to this selection and to ...

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