Opon Ifa (Divination Board), Yoruba
The Opon Ifa
The Ifa divination system is practiced among West African (Yoruba) and African Diaspora communities. The Ifa refers to the mystical figure Ifa or Orunmila, regarded by the Yoruba people as the deity of wisdom and intellectual development. In the 12th century, the city of Ile-Ife, located in the Osun region of the southwest of Nigeria, emerged as the cultural and political centre of this community. Ifa divination does not rely on a person having oracular powers but rather on a system of signs that are interpreted by a diviner, an Ifa priest/priestess or babalawo. The Ifa divination system is applied whenever an important individual or collective decision has to be made.