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The Diet

Ifa Lecture Monograph

Grade: Foundation
Module: 30
Topic: Tani Emi?
Who am I?
Definition and Origin of Emi/I
Parts and Functions of Emi/I


MOTTO: Exploring the Treasures of Ifa
Endorsed by: International Council For Ifa Religion
Strictly for IITI students only
Module 30 Parts and functions of Emi/I continued...

Opolo, brain: The brain is a jellylike mass of fat and protein located in the
head and it controls the mental activities of human beings. The brain
monitors and regulates the body's actions and reactions. It continuously
receives sensory information, and rapidly analyzes this data and then
responds accordingly by controlling bodily actions and functions.

This organ makes us human, giving people the capacity for art, language,
moral judgments, and rational thought. It is also responsible for each
individual's personality, memories, movements, and how he/she senses the
world. Scientifically, it is said to be one of the body's biggest organs,
weighing about 3 pounds (about 1.4 kilograms) consisting of some 100
billion nerve cells that not only put together thoughts and highly coordinated
physical actions, but regulate our unconscious body processes, such as
digestion and breathing.

The brain is extremely sensitive and delicate, and so it requires maximum

protection because any slight disruption to the brain can cause it to
malfunction and thereby make a person to become abnormal. This is
perhaps the reason why Olodumare encased the brain inside the bones.
There are six fixed bones which encase the brain which make it impossible
for the brain to shift from its position. In Yoruba culture, a person who
misbehaves is described as having no Opolo or whose Opolo is
malfunctioning. Also, a mentally retarded person is someone whose Opolo
is not complete, while an insane person is one whose Opolo is disrupted.
Students are advised to read more of this in “Ikunle Abiyamo: the Ase
of Motherhood.

2. Orun, neck:

The neck is that part of the body that carries and supports the head. The
neck supports the weight of the head and protects the nerves that carry
sensory and motor information from the brain down to the rest of the body.
In addition, the neck is highly flexible and allows the head to turn and flex in
all directions. From top to bottom the cervical spine is gently curved in
convex-forward fashion. It is the least marked of all the curves of the
column. It distinguishes the head from the torso or trunk. Spiritually, Orun
connotes a situation of financial indebtedness or burden. It also connotes
the responsibility of the owner to himself/herself, his/her immediate family,
peer group, associates and the community in general. In Ifa, when one is
free from financial burden, it means that one’s neck is clean and free. When
one has performed one’s responsibilities to the best of one’s ability and
capacity, then one’s neck is also said to be clean and free.

In a stanza of Okanran Oyeku, Ifa says:

Tee kiti l’awo omode
Tee kata l’awo alare
Ika kan soso lo ku ko di Eji Oye
Bee ni ko lee di Eji Oye
Ika kan soso lo ku ko di Eji Okanran
Bee ni ko lee di Eji Okanran
Dia fun baba s’ebo k’orun o mo
Ebo ni won ni ko wa se
O gb’ebo, o ru’bo
A ti bo’da fun iku o
A ti bo’da fun arun
A ti bo’da fun ejo o
A ti bo’da fun ofo o
A ti bo’da fun gbogbo irunbi
Okanran aiku o, ebo mama da
To imprint haphazardly is the practice of the youth
To imprint systematically is the practice of the elders
Only one finger remains for it to become Oyeku Meji
But it will never become Oyeku Meji
Only one finger remains for it to become Okanran Meji
But it will never become Okanran Meji
This was Ifa’s message for he who was advised to offer ebo in order to
free his neck of debts and responsibilities
He was advised to offer ebo
He complied
We have offered ebo against death
We have offered ebo against affliction
We have offered ebo against contention
We have offered ebo against loss
We have offered ebo against all other evils
Okanran which guarantees longevity, our ebo has been accepted

Inside the neck, we have these two significant organs: ofun, the throat and
gogogongo, the larynx. In Ifa, because of the hidden position of gogogongo,
the larynx is always associated with a person’s ability to keep a secret or
keep his lips sealed. Ko ni gogogongo, means that he has no larynx. This
does not mean that such a person’s larynx is absent, but means that the
person cannot keep a secret or has a lose tongue.

3. Ejika, the shoulders

The human shoulder is made up of three bones: the clavicle (collarbone),
the scapula (shoulder blade), and the humerus (upper arm bone) as well as
associated muscles, ligaments and tendons. It acts as a support for the
body and in Ifa, it has the spiritual connotation of having the ability to carry
responsibility and withstand stress and tension. It also acts as a form of
hanger on our body upon which our clothes that we wear are rested.
Without the shoulders, the clothes we wear cannot stand and stay fixed.
This can be found in a stanza of Ika meji, which goes thus:

Opelope ejika ni o j’ewu o bo

Opelope wipe o ri iye ire to bi o fun baba ire
Dia fun Oosanla Oseremagbo
Ti nsunkun oju Aworo ohun o ba’re o
Ebo ni won ni ko waa se
O gb’ebo, o ru’bo
Ko pe ko jinna
E wa ba’ni bayo, e waa wo’re o
Nje asiri ti Oosa pamo
N’ikoko lo wa
Let us thank the shoulders which do not allow the dress to fall off our
Let us thank the fact that a good mother gave birth to you to a good
These were Ifa’s messages to Obatala
When lamenting because his disciple was not succeeding
He was advised to offer ebo
He complied
Before long, not too far
Join us in the midst of all the Ire of life
Behold, the secret kept by Obatala
It remains a secret!

Another stanza in Ika Meji states thus:

Opelope ejika ni o j’ewu o bo
Opelope wipe o ri iye ire to bi o fun baba ire
Dia fun won ni Ika-Ereja
Ibi won gbe hu’ri meta-meta
Ebo ni won ni ki won waa se
Won gbe’bo, won ru’bo
Iroke ni won fi n ka t’otun
Irukere ni won fi n ka t’osi
Ko pe ko jinna
E wa ba’ni ni jebuutu ire gbogbo
Ero Ipo ero Ofa
Eni ori san n’Ife nii joba o
Let us thank the shoulders which do not allow the dress to fall off our
Let us thank the fact that a good mother gave birth to you to a good
These were the Ifa's messages to them at Ika-Ereja
When they came into the world with three Ori each
They were advised to offer ebo
They complied
An Iroke was used to remove the Ori on the right shoulder
An Irukere was used to remove the one on the left shoulder
Before long, not too far
Join us in the midst of all the Ire of life
Travelers to Ipo and Ofa
Those who are supported by their Ori are those installed as Oba

Also in Ose Awoko (Ose Ogbe), Ifa describes Ejika as what makes the
neck look like a branch from the body. As can be seen, it is from the neck
that the human body looks broader. For example, it is from the shoulder that
we can see for sure whether somebody is fat, thin, lean, bulky or light. In
this Odu, Ifa says:

Ejika nii mo’run pega

Dia fun Makanjuola
Ti nt’orun bo wa’le aye
Ebo ni won ni ko waa se
O gb’ebo, o ru’bo
Ifa o ni ku run l’ogun odun
Gbogbo eni ti yoo s’omo Ikin
Ifa ni e ma ma kan’ju
Orunmila o ni ku run l’ogbon osu
Gbogbo eni ti yoo s’omo Ikin
Ifa ni ki e ma ma kan’ju
Ejika, the shoulder makes the neck look like a branch
This was Ifa’s message for Makanjuola (Don’t be in a hurry to
achieve honour)
When coming from heaven to earth
He was advised to offer ebo
He complied
Ifa will not be ruined in 20 years
All those who want to be Ifa devotees
Ifa advises you not to be in a hurry
Orunmila will not be obliterated in 30 months
All those who want to be Ifa devotees
Ifa advises you not to be in a hurry

Ejika can also be used to physically carry some burdens that are not too
heavy. In a stanza of Ika Olosun, (Ika Irosun), Ifa states:

O ka ni mo’le bi eji ale

O ka ni mo odede bi eji owuro
Kutukutu ni ika ti ka Irosun mo’le
Nitori edan eku, edan eja
Dia fun Ejika gogoogo
Ti yoo gb’Osu wo ‘gbo
Ebo ni won ni ko se
O gb’ebo, o ru’bo
Awo ni yoo gb’awo dide
Ejika gogoogo lo gb’Osu wo ‘gbo
Awo ni yoo gba’wo dide

It kept one indoors, like the night rainfall

It kept one inside the parlour, like the morning downpour
It was early in the morning that Ika restricted Irosun inside the
All because of a rat and a fish
This was Ifa’s message for Ejika Gogoogo, the Shoulder
When going to carry Osu into the Ifa Grove
He was advised to offer ebo
He complied
The Awo will come to the aid of a fellow Awo
Ejika Gogoogo will carry Osu to the Ifa Grove
The Awo will come to the aid of a fellow Awo
4. Aya, chest

The chest is the region of the body between the neck and the abdomen,
along with its internal and external organs and other contents. It is mostly
protected and supported by the Iha, the ribcage; Egungun Eyin, the spine;
and the shoulder girdle. Organs contained in the chest include the following:
o Fuku, the lungs
o Okan, the heart

o Oyan, the breast

Okan, the heart is one of the most important organs in the body. Okan, the
heart, in Ifa, has dual functions in the sense that it is construed to be the
physical heart with the primary function to circulate the blood, and through
the blood, oxygen and vital minerals are transferred to the tissues and
organs that comprise the body. On the other hand, it is spiritually construed
as an invincible component beyond the physical heart from where emotional
thoughts and psychic reactions developed. This is why the Yorubas make
use of certain words like Ero Okan, thoughts of the heart, or Kinni Ero
Okan? What are the thoughts of your heart? Certain states of Okan such as
cowardice, bravery, fear, love, hatred, joy, sadness, anger, etc are different
manifestations of the state/condition of a person. The emotional situation of
any person is taken as one of the functions of Okan. There are different
ways by which the Yoruba people describe the state of a person’s heart by
using different euphemisms. In Yoruba land, a coward is regarded as a
person with no heart (Ko l’okan), which does not mean that the person does
not physically have a heart; a stubborn person is regarded as a hard
hearted person (Ol’okan lile), which of course does not mean that his
physical heart is stronger or harder in shape or form than that of a coward.
Also, when someone’s heart is said to be spoiled (Okan e baje), it means
that he/she is sad; or when a person’s heart is said to be scattered (Okan e
daru), then it means that he/she is confused.

However, the state of one’s Okan should always be stable and balanced as
any disruption to it might cause a person to become sad, angry/upset or

When the heart is in turmoil or when it is not functioning properly due to

ailment, there exists the need to take immediate steps to address the
situation. There are many steps that can be taken to find a solution to the
problem of the heart, both physical and spiritual. There is a stanza in
Atitee-Gb’Olu, Irente’Gbe, (Irete Ogbe), where Ifa combines both physical
and spiritual solutions together. In this stanza, Ifa says:

Igbala n’ile Ewon

Iroko l’oja Owe
Oja Olukoyin di anad’oru kokooko
Igba eekinni
Koko igi n ro gbonikoko-gbonikoko
Igba eekeji
Koko igi n ro gbonokoko-gbonikoko
Ajana Wonwo, Awo ile Owajoro
Dia fun Owajoro
Ni’jo arun riworiwo n yo o l’okan o lo o
Ebo no won ni ko waa se
O gb’ebo, o ru’bo
Arun riworowo ki o ma yo mo l’okan mo
Mo ti je’gbe ewe e jogbo
Eje mi ma koro
Igbala is the home of Ewon
Iroko is the market place of Owe
The market of Olukoyin stays open till late into the night
The first time
The wood lump was being sounded repeatedly
The second time
The wood lump was being beaten repeatedly
Ajana Wonwo, the resident Awo of Owajoro
He was the Awo who cast Ifa for Owajoro
When palpitation was about to remove his heart
He was advised to offer ebo
He complied
May palpitation not remove my heart
I have consumed 200 Jogbo leaves
My blood has turned bitter against consumption

In the stanza above, ebo was offered to stop all heart palpitations and all
other related ailments of the heart, and at the same time, an herbal soup
was prepared for the person suffering from this ailment. The Jogbo leaves
mentioned in the stanza were part of the materials used to find a solution to
the problem of the client.

According to Ifa, it should also be known, that each organ has a particular
Irunmole/Orisa that is in charge of its function, care and protection. For
instance, Orunmila is known to be in charge of protecting one’s Ori; that is
why he is referred to as ‘Odudu ti I du ori ilemere, ko ma baa fo’, the one
who protects the head of a person so that it does not break. Also, Sango is
also referred to as ‘Okaka tii fowo ti iku’, meaning: Okaka, the one who uses
his hands to push away death from one’s heart. This is stated in the
following stanza from Irete Meji below:

Keke b’idi meregbe

Dia fun Okaka
Ti n loo f’owo t’iku
Ebo ni won ni ko waa se
O gb’ebo, o ru’bo
Keke b’idi meregbe
Dia fun Odudu
Ti n loo du’ri Ilemere
Ebo ni won ni ko waa se
O gb’ebo, o ru’bo
Nje tani yoo du’rii mi fun mi?
Odudu, Ifa ni yoo du’rii mi fun mi
Sango ni Okaka tii f’owo t’iku
Odudu Ifa ni yoo du’rii mi fun mi
Orunmila ni Odudu tii du’rii Ilemere
Odudu Ifa ni yoo du’rii mi fun mi o


Keke b’idi meregbe

He was the one who cast Ifa for Okaka
When going to stretch his hands to push away death
He was advised to offer ebo
He complied
Kek b’idi meregbe
He was the one who cast Ifa for Odudu
When going to protect the Ori of “he who is destined to die young”
He was advised to offer ebo
He complied
Now, who will protect my Ori for me?
Odudu, Ifa is the one who will protect my Ori for me
Sango is Okaka, the one who pushes away death
Odudu, Ifa is the one who will protect my Ori for me
Orunmila is Odudu, the one who will protect the Ori of “he who is
destined to die young”
Odudu, Ifa is the one who will protect my Ori for me
Odudu, Ifa will surely do it for me

Fuku, the lungs: When air is breathed in through the nose, it passes
through the larynx to Fuku, the lungs. In the Fuku, the air is filtered and the
impurities are sent back through the larynx to the nose in the form of
mucous. The air that is not needed in the body is also sent out of the body
through the larynx to the nose which is then breathed out in the form of
carbon dioxide. This helps to protect the body from being poisoned. The
Irunmole/Orisa in charge of the lungs are Alafere and Oya. The details to
their connection to the lungs will be discussed at a later stage.

Oyan, the breast: This is part of the female reproductive organ that is
responsible for lactation. Breast fed babies are said to be healthier than
babies that are not breast fed. Oyan is also the prestige of all women. This
organ is so cherished not only by babies but by everybody. In a stanza from
Okanran Meji, Ifa states how the breast was coming from heaven and how
she offered ebo in order to be well positioned, cherished and loved by all
human beings. The stanza goes thus:

Okan balabala
Awo Omu lo dia f’Omu
Omu n’torun bo wale Aye
O nraye agbejo
Ebo ni won ni ko waa se
O gb’ebo, o ru’bo
Ko pe, ko’ jinna
E wa ba’ni b’ewa
E wa wo’re o

That which swings and is adored

That was the Ifa cast for Omu, the Breast
When coming from heaven to earth
And when coming to enjoy the life of being caressed
She was advised to offer ebo
She complied
Before long, not too far
Join us in the midst of beauty
Come and see all the Ire of life
5. Apa, the arm:

According to modern science, the arm is the part of the upper limb between
the shoulder and the elbow joints. In other animals, the term arm can also
be used for analogous structures, such as one of the paired forelimbs of
a four-legged animal or the arms of cephalopods. In anatomical usage, the
term arm refers specifically to the segment between the shoulder and the
elbow, while the segment between the elbow and wrist is the forearm.
However, in Ifa and perhaps in other common literary and historical
usage, the arm refers to the entire upper limb from shoulder to wrist. The
following are attached to the arm: Igunpa and Owo.

Igunpa or Igbonwo, the elbow: The human elbow is the region

surrounding the elbow-joint—the ginglymus or hinge joint in the middle of
the arm. Three bones form the elbow joint: the humerus of the upper arm,
and the paired radius and ulna of the forearm. Igunpa allows for
movements of flexion and extension only. The elbow allows the arm to
move freely in order to bend inward. In a stanza from Oyeku Meji, Ifa says:

Igbonwo o see fi kan aya

Dia fun Baba Yekuyeku
Ti won npe ni Oyeku Sanponna
Nijo to ntorun bow aye ti yopo ma yeku kuro lori awo…
The elbow cannot be used to touch the chest
This was Ifa’s message for Baba Yekuyeku
Who is known as Oyeku Sanponna
When going to remove death from the head of the Awo….
Owo, the hand: A hand is a prehensile, multi-fingered extremity located at
the end of an arm or forelimb of prime mates such as humans,
chimpanzees, monkeys, and lemurs. A few other vertebrates such as the
Koala (which has two opposable thumbs on each "hand" and fingerprints
remarkably similar to human fingerprints) are often described as having
either "hands" or "paws" on their front limbs. Hands are the chief organs for
physically manipulating the environment, used for both gross motor
skills (such as grasping a large object) and fine motor skills (such as picking
up a small pebble). The fingertips contain some of the densest areas of
nerve endings on the body and are the richest source of tactile feedback,
and have the greatest positioning capability of the body; thus the sense of
touch is intimately associated with hands. Like other paired organs (eyes,
feet, legs), each hand is dominantly controlled by the opposing brain
hemisphere, so that handedness, or the preferred hand choice for single-
handed activities such as writing with a pen, reflects individual brain
functioning. Owo, the hand consists of four fingers and the thumb, which is
called Atanpako. Hands must have opposable thumbs with the function of
complementing the other four fingers. All of them are referred to as Omo
Owo that aid the proper functioning of the hand. Atanpako, the thumb, is
discussed in a stanza from Owonrin Meji, where Ifa says:

Okuta a la ma s’eje
Dia fun Owo
Omo a bi marun-un jeere arun
Ebo ni won ni ko se
O gb’ebo, o ru’bo
Okuta a la ma se’je
Dia fun Ese
Omo abi marun-un jeere arun
Ebo ni won ni ko se
O gb’ebo, o ru’bo
Omo Owo kii ku l’oju Owo
Omo Ese kii t’oju Ese e r’orun
Iwa kii t’oju oniwa a baje
The pebble was broken, but it did not bleed
That was the Ifa cast for Owo, the hand
Who shall give birth to five children and profit from the five
He was advised to offer ebo
He complied
The pebble was broken, but it did not bleed
That was the Ifa cast for Ese, the leg
Who shall give birth to five children and profit from the five
He was advised to offer ebo
He complied
The children (the fingers) of Owo (the hand) will not die while Owo is
still alive
The children (the toes) of Ese (the leg) will not die before the foot
One's character will not spoil in the presence of the owner of the

Ifa advises us not to do anything that may impair the hand or any of the
fingers physically or spiritually. According to Ifa, the hand is the organ that
spiritually holds the components of our destiny. For instance, it is believed
that our fortune lies in our hands; therefore we must hold and protect it
properly for us to be able to achieve our desired goals on earth. In the
spiritual context, the inability for the hand to grasp something for long is
called ‘Amubo’ in Yoruba language. Amubo is also known as
unconsummated fortune. Amubo can be: lack of financial success, job
insecurity, unstable love relationship, recurring infant mortality, economic
instability and instability in all good things of life. When Ifa is cast and this
situation is revealed, such a person will be advised to offer ebo and do
necessary rituals in order to solve the problem and cleanse the hands. In a
stanza from Ika Meji, Ifa says:
Temi ree, Awo Alamala Ika
Dia fun Alamala Ika
Eyi ti nf’odoodun s’owo amubo
Ebo ni won ni ko waa se
O gb’ebo, o ru’bo…
Temi ree, the Awo of the yam flour paste seller of Ika town
He cast Ifa for the yam flour paste seller
The one who was experiencing unconsummated fortune every year
She was advised to offer ebo
She complied…

6. Ese, the leg:

The human leg is the entire lower extremity or limb of the human body,
which includes the foot, the thigh, and even the hip or gluteal region;
however, the precise definition in the human anatomy refers only to the
section of the lower limb extending from the knee to the ankle. In Ifa,
however, the leg is known to comprise of the following:

Itan, the thigh

Ese, the leg, the lower limb between the knee and the ankle
Atelese, the foot
Ika-ese, the toes
Eekanna’se, the toe nails
Atanpako ese – the big toe

In human anatomical terms, the leg is the part of the lower limb that lies
between the knee and the ankle, the thigh is between the hip and the
knee, and the term "lower limb" is used to describe the colloquial leg. The
leg from the knee to the ankle is called the cnemis (née'mis) or crus. The
calf is the back portion and the shin is the front.

Legs are used for standing, walking, running, kicking, and other similar
activities. They also constitute a significant portion of a person's mass.

Legs are used for means of transportation/movement from one place to the
other. Spiritually, it is the leg that takes a person to wherever he wants to go
or wherever his destiny lies. The Leg can lead one to a place of success,
but also to a place of destruction. The Leg can also be bad spiritually and
wherever such a leg goes it will bring negative effects on the owner of the
leg and even those around this person. In Eji Elemere, (Irete meji), a bad
or misfortunate leg can be cleansed and made good again so that the leg
will cease to bring bad fortune and instead lead Ori to a place of exaltation
and prosperity. In Irete Meji, Ifa says that the person for whom this Odu is
revealed is blessed with a good Ori and that he/she has chosen all the good
things of life without exception and everything has been well recorded in
his/her Ori. There is however the problem of the fact that his/her Ese, legs,
fail to complement his/her Ori. In other words, his/her legs are working
against the realization of the promises and potentials of his/her destiny.
There is the urgent need to correct this anomaly. The stanza states thus:

Iwo ote
Emi ote
Ote di meji o d’ododo gbako-gbako
Dia fun Al’ori-ire-ma-l’ese-ire
Ebo ni won ni ko waa se
O gb’ebo, o ru’bo
Ikin mi Erigi Alo
Ifa je ki n l’ori ire
Ki n si l’ese ire


You imprint one leg of Irete

I also imprint one leg of Irete
When the imprint becomes two, the true Irete Meji is formed
This was the message of Ifa to He-who-has-a-favourable-Ori-but-
He was advised to offer ebo
He complied
My Ikin, Erigi-Alo
Ifa, please let me have a good Ori
And good legs to complement it

7. Ikun, the stomach:

The human abdomen (also called the belly) is the part of the body between
the pelvis and the thorax. Anatomically, the abdomen stretches from the
thorax at the thoracic diaphragm to the pelvis at the pelvic brim. The pelvic
brim stretches from the lumbosacral angle (the intervertebral disk between
L5 and S1) to the pubic symphysis and is the edge of the pelvic inlet. The
space above this inlet and under the thoracic diaphragm is termed the
abdominal cavity. The boundary of the abdominal cavity is the abdominal
wall in the front and the peritoneal surface at the rear.
Functionally, the human abdomen is where most of the alimentary tract is
placed and so most of the absorption and digestion of food occurs here.
The alimentary tract in the abdomen consists of the lower esophagus,
the stomach, the duodenum, the jejunum, ileum, the cecum, and
the appendix, the ascending, transverse and descending colons,
the sigmoid colon and the rectum. Other vital organs inside the abdomen
include the liver, the kidneys, the pancreas and the spleen.

Literally, Ikun, the stomach is understood to be the big sac that contains all
abdominal organs like Ifun (small and large intestines), Edo (liver), Orooro
(bile) Apo Ito(urine bladder), Amo (pancreas), Olo Inu, kidneys, ureters,
spleen. These abdominal organs not only have physical features but
spiritual features as well.

 Ifun, the intestines connote the strength in a person. A person that is

described as one with no Ifun is said to be powerless and possibly

 Edo, the liver: This is considered the first organ to be formed in an

embryo. Ifa regards Edo, the liver as the pilot organ from where
other organs develop and that brings about the existence of humans.
In a stanza from Ogbe Obara (Ogbe Gbarada), Ifa says:

A kunle a yan eda

A d’aye tan
Oju nkan gbogbo wa
A kii t’eda yan
A fi baa t’aye wa
Difa fun Edo
Tii se otuko lati Orun….

We knelt and chose our destiny
When getting to the earth we tend to be in a hurry
Destiny cannot be changed
Only if we reincarnate
These were Ifa’s declarations to Edo (the Liver)
Who was the nucleus and the captain
That piloted human beings from Heaven….

 Idodo, the navel (the belief of the Yoruba people is that the navel is
the center of the body)

Wikipedia explains that the navel (clinically known as the umbilicus,

colloquially known as the belly button) is a scar on the abdomen caused
by removal of the umbilical cord from a newborn baby. All placental
mammals have a navel, and it is quite conspicuous in humans.

In humans, the navel scar can appear as a depression (often referred to

colloquially as an innie) or as a protrusion (outie). Although frequently
separated into these two categories, navels actually vary quite widely
among people in terms of size, shape, depth/length, and overall
appearance. As navels are scars, and not defined by genetics, they can
serve as a way of distinguishing between identical twins in the absence of
other identifiable marks.

Spiritually, Ifa says that when Oduduwa was coming from heaven to earth,
he descended through the usage of a ‘mystical chain’. In the case of human
beings, the ‘mystical chain’ is the umbilical cord that is attached to the navel
and which is removed as soon as the baby is born.

Whenever Ori is being propitiated, Ori Inu, the inner Ori, also referred to as
human character is also propitiated. The navel is propitiated as the seat of
Ori Inu. The navel, Idodo is thus the seat of human character.
8. Egungun, the bones:

The bones support the whole body and give all humans their shape and
form. Ogun is the Irunmole in charge of molding human bones into skeletal
form. The human bones that Ogun oxidized were named Ako-irin which
later was changed to Okunrin, males. The bones left unoxidized were
named Obi-irin which later was changed to Obinrin, females. Please read
more about this in “Ikunle Abiyamo: the Ase of Motherhood.” The full story
of this event can also be found in Ogbe-Ofun.

9. Idi, the buttocks:

The buttocks (singular: buttock) are two rounded portions of the anatomy,
located on the posterior of the pelvic region of apes and humans, and many
other bipeds or quadrupeds, and comprise a layer of fat superimposed on
the gluteus maximus and gluteus medius muscles. Physiologically, the
buttocks enables weight to be taken off the feet while sitting. Many cultures
have also used them as a safe target for corporal punishment, and for some
cultures they play a role in sexual attraction. There are several connotations
of the buttocks in art, fashion, culture and humour.

However, the qualities that make the buttocks beautiful or well-formed are
not fixed, as sexual aesthetics of the buttocks vary considerably from
culture to culture, from one period of fashion to another and even from
person to person.

Ifa states that Idi, the buttocks, is the base for everything and is considered
part of the reproductive organs (euphemism for genitals). In Eji Ogbe, Ifa
states in a stanza thus:

…idi ni gbe’pon-gbe’pon to m’opon tire e gbe o

Idi ni oj’ayo-n-j’ayo ti n j’ayo tire l’ode Okiti-Efo
Idi ni Ajao ti mu’gi re e gun
Ko too r’ogengen igi
Idi l’a a ti I bo’roko
Ori ni I ti I ro waa gbe’ni
Idi ni Bara a mi Agbonijosu ti b’obinrin re s’ere
Bo ba d’igba ajodun
Ire omo nii yo’ri i si….
…it is from the base that a mortar carver starts to carve the mortar
It is also from the back that a good Ayo game player plans the defeat
of his opponent
It is from the base (foot) of a tree that Ajao climbs the tree before
reaching the apex of the tree
It is from the buttocks (base or foot) that we propitiate the Iroko tree
The support comes from its head (the top)
It is from the buttocks that my father the Agbonijosu plays with his
The following year, the result will be a bouncing baby…
In the stanza above, it is obvious that the ‘play’ that my father the
Agbonijosu did with his wife from the ‘buttocks’ is referring to sexual
intercourse and the genitals respectively.

10. Oko/Epon/Obo, the genitals:

The penis (plural penises, penes) is a biological feature of male animals

including both vertebrates (creatures with a backbone) and invertebrates
(creatures without back bones). It is a reproductive, intromittent organ that
additionally serves as the urinal duct in placental mammals.

As with nearly any aspect of the body involved in sexual or excretory

functions, the penis is the subject of many taboos, and there are many
slang words and euphemisms for it. A particularly common and
longstanding one in Yoruba is "Kokoro" which is the slang that children and
young ones are taught in Yoruba land to call their penises. It is also referred
to as “Kinni”, that thing. .

The vagina (from Latin vagĭna, literally "sheath" or "scabbard") is a

fibromuscular tubular tract leading from the uterus to the exterior of the
body in female placental mammals and marsupials, or to the cloaca in
female birds, monotremes, and some reptiles. Female insects and other
invertebrates also have a vagina, which is the terminal part of the oviduct.
The Latinate plural "vaginae" is rarely used in English. In many places in
Yoruba land, it is considered a taboo for anyone to call it “obo” in public.
Slang such as “Iyamopo”, “Abe”, the innermost recess of the body or “Oju
Ara” the inner eye of the body or even “Iho Ara” the body cavity are more
commonly used.

The word vagina is quite often used colloquially to refer to the vulva or
female genitals generally; technically speaking, the vagina is a specific
internal structure. In humans, the passage leads from the opening of the
vulva to the uterus (womb). It lies midway between the anal tract and the

During childbirth, the vagina provides the channel to deliver the infant from
the uterus to its independent life outside the body of the mother. During
birth, the elasticity of the vagina allows it to stretch to many times its normal
diameter. The vagina is often typically referred to as the birth canal in the
context of pregnancy and childbirth, though the term is, by definition, the
area between the outside of the vagina and the fully dilated uterus.

In Owonrin Onlogbo, Owonrin-Irosun, Ifa says that if not for the vagina,
no human being would be on earth today. That is why Ifa says that a high
degree of respect must be given to women because if not for women,
nobody would be on earth and no Oba would ever become an Orisa. In this
stanza, Ifa says:

Yaayaagan abi’di siiriki

Dia fun Onlogbo
Ti yoo maa fi gbogbo aye j’eru ka
Ebo ni won ni ko waa se
O gb’ebo, o ru’bo
Nje Onlogbo, o so ahere d’ile
Onlogbo o s’aatan d’oja
Eni to pe Onlogbo ti o tu’so
Idi odan ni yoo sun bo d’orun
Yaayaagan ab’idi siiriki
Ifa’s message for Onlogbo, the Vagina
When going to make profit (children) round the world
She was advised to offer ebo
She complied
Onlogbo, you have turned a barn into a living residence
You have turned a refuse dump site into a market
Any man who sees Onlogbo without removing his clothing
Such a person will sleep under the Banyan tree in heaven


5. Agba Awo/Adept Ofun 'se

4. Imo ijinle/Advance Ose 'tura

3. Agbeka/Intermediate Obara Okanran

2. Ileke/Basic Oyeku Meji

1. Ipilese/Foundation Eji Ogbe

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