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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Recommended reading for adherents and Awos

Aboru aboye aboshishe,
on being asked by a fellow Awo, I compiled this list of recommended books. I've read all of these (some better then others). This is by no means comprehensive, and I suspect I've overlooked some. Enjoy!
Marcos Ifalola Sanchez

Olodumare: God in Yoruba Belief - E. Bolaji Idowu
Fundamentals of the Yoruba Religion (Orisa Worship) - Chief Fama
Yoruba Beliefs and Sacrificial Rites- J. Omósadé Awólàlú
Practitioner's Handbook for the IFA Professional - Chief FAMA (Àìná Adéwálé-Somadhi) (Awos only)
Odun Ifa. Ifa Festival - Emanuel Abosede (mainly for Awos)
IFA: The Key to it's Understanding - Fasina Falade (mainly for Awos)
Ifa: An Exposition of Ifa Literary Corpus - Wande Abimbola (mainly for Awos)
IFA Divination Poetry - Wande Abimbola (mainly for Awos)
Yoruba Oral Tradition - Wande Abimbola
Ifa Divination: Communication Between Gods and Men in West Africa - William Bascom
Ifa: A Complete Divination - Ayo Salami (mainly for Awos)
Iyere Ifa (Tonal Poetry, the Voice of Ifa) An Exposition of Yoruba Divinational Chants - Chief Ifayemi Elebuibon
The Healing Power of Sacrifice - Chief Ifayemi Elebuibon (mainly for Awos)
• Ifism: The Complete Work of Orunmila - C. OsamaroIbie (mainly for Awos)
Iwe Odu Ifa - Chief Ifayemi Awopeju Bogunmbe (for Awos)
A recitation of Ifa, oracle of the Yoruba - Judith Illsley Gleason, Awotunde Aworinde (mainly for Awos)
• I HATE recommending anything that makes Niemark money, but this book had good translations: The Sacred IFA Oracle - Afolabi A. Epega, Philip John Neimark (mainly for Awos)
Odu Ifa: The Ethical Teachings - Maulana Karenga
Ewe: O uso das plantas na sociedade ioruba - Pierre Verger
Orin Orisa: Songs for Selected Heads - John Mason
Beads, Body, and Soul: Art and Light in the Yoruba Universe - Henry Drewal and John Mason
Idana fun orisa: Cooking for selected heads - John Mason and Gary Edwards
Voodoo: Mounted by the Gods - Alberto Venzago (a view of "Fa" in benin)
1000+(African) Òrìsà Yorùbá Names - Chief Fama
Fama's Ede Awo (Orisa Yoruba Dictionary) - Chief Fama
Yoruba-English/English-Yoruba Modern Practical Dictionary - Kayode J. Fakinlede
Je K`A So Yoruba (Yale Language Series) - Antonia Yetunde Folarin Schleicher
Yoruba Proverbs - Oyekan Owomoyela

7 comments:

Obanyoko said...

Thank you Baba
ABuru Aboye

I can not access these books here in Brasil. To have them sent through Amazon is too expensive here. So I will have to wait until I can get to the states. Can you please send me a list of stores in different states where I can find them... Modupe Obanyoko

Tracy said...

I have been reading your posts on Ifa and am wondering why you say that you hate to credit Neimark with anything that makes him money. Is he not a desirable personage? Are his views and teachings of Ifa not in accord with the true Yoruba teachings? I ask because his is the first views that I actually came across that showed Ifa in what to me was a more positive way, without the fear, control, and pandering required to those that call themselves "priests" or "elders" and require unquestioning, unthinking obedience from their "godchildren" that I seem to see in the newer Lucumi/Santeria and Voodoo here in the states. It seems to me that spiritual growth and knowledge can only be achieved by questioning in order to grow in knowledge. So those that would require blind obedience and no questions as to why something is done this or that way, how this thing is done, and what purpose it serves are only exercising power for power sake and not allowing spiritual growth of those they are supposed to be teaching. As to what I have seen of Neimark and his people so far, he is not one of those that requires or expects this blind obedience, but rather welcomes those who truly want to learn and question for the sake of better understanding and growth. However, being but a "baby" in this and not having any understanding yet, I don't really know who is "on the level" and who is merely a con artist looking for recognition and adoration.

Ifalola said...

To tracy,

I am not a fan of Neimark for many many reasons. One is, he was made lucumi, but left just after his initiation and received almost ZERO training. He has never been trained by any Traditional Yoruba priests, with the exception of using epega's notes for his book. So, in a tradition that is primarily to this day still learned orally, no one has ever trained him. His "AMERICAN IFA" is basically his own mish mash of things learned along the way, it's not recognized by lucumi or traditional Yoruba practitioners. In other words, not a single practitioner or priest other then those he has initiated will recognize you as a priest. In addition, his methods are made up and expensive, and you're wasting your money. How can someone who's never been trained be intiating anyone else? Basically, he's one step shy of being a total sham.

I also take umbrage with his desire to copyright the translated Odu Ifa in his book. Certainly he perhaps has credit for translating them, but he can NOT claim credit for the Odu Ifa, they pre-date him, and some may be as much as thousands of years old. How can he claim copyright on works that are religious and divine in nature, then call himself a priest? It would be like translating the bible then claiming copyright on the translation. The words are not yours, you only translated from one language to the next.

Lastly, many of the "ceremonies" he claims to do, he has no knowledge of, nor are they done correctly from what i can tell from conversations with people who've actually gone through them. I know of more then one person, who re-did their ceremonies only to find out they were done totally differently.

What he practices is not Ifa, it is his own religion, which you may as well call Neimarkism . . .

it's a sad day.
.I.

cuba said...

Iboru, Iboye, Iboshishe,

Thanks you for the book list, I do own the majority of these, of course no book is a substitute for a strong Padrino and certainly not the Internet. I have the pleasure of having a Padrino that encourages my education through reading and even the Net with a grain of salt.

This is the fist look I have had of your site and I look forward to reading more than only the book list. Yet the book list is a good one and the authors you suggest (at least on the top) are well respected and well worth anyone's time. I always say one can learn alot from a person by the books they own, and I usually take a long look at any bookcase in a home I visit.

One thing I was struck with was your lack of lambasting Awo Neimark as a racist as many do due to his suggestions regarding Obatala. This I applaud you for this as race really has no place in our relgion nor any function. One book I really was offended by was Ra Ifagbemi Babalawo's Ancestor book...I should have smelled it with anyone having Babalawo in their name...LOL

A book I would like to recommend is David Brown's Santeria Enthroned, it too is for the seasoned follower of Orisha worship yet a strong read in my opinion. It is more historical rather than addressing the mechanics or venerable ODU.

ìdúpëôpë, Awo Ogbe Sa

Monifa said...

Alafia. Thanks for the book list. It is very helpful. Thank you too for confirming my discomfort with Neimark - spiritual gangster. That is who and what he is.

Albert Montecelo said...

Aburu Aboya Olowos,

Hi I am a newly intiated Awo that speaks spanish and english but when reading and understanding what I am reading it comes easier to me in english I have tratados de los odun de ifa in spanish which helps me in my responsibility as an Awo but my learning curve in spanish is not the same as in english. I need some guidance in finding a good book of IFA with the odun in enlgish and even the ebbos if I can find them. I would greatly appreciate if any other Awo's that may have gone through what I am going through to give me a little guidance and I would be very thankful. There is things I have learned from other Olowos in this area but for having a year of Ifa I think I should be further in the learning process. It just takes me longer to retain the the ifa studies in spanish. If there is anybody that could stir me in the correct directin I would really appreciate that.

Obarra-She

Albert Montecelo said...

Aburu Aboya Olowos,

Hi I am a newly intiated Awo that speaks spanish and english but when reading and understanding what I am reading it comes easier to me in english I have tratados de los odun de ifa in spanish which helps me in my responsibility as an Awo but my learning curve in spanish is not the same as in english. I need some guidance in finding a good book of IFA with the odun in enlgish and even the ebbos if I can find them. I would greatly appreciate if any other Awo's that may have gone through what I am going through to give me a little guidance and I would be very thankful. There is things I have learned from other Olowos in this area but for having a year of Ifa I think I should be further in the learning process. It just takes me longer to retain the the ifa studies in spanish. If there is anybody that could stir me in the correct directin I would really appreciate that.

Obarra-She