Ifa Divination and its Significance among the People of Ijebu-Ode in South-Western Nigeria
From time immemorial, divination has been a functional art used by many people, especially the Yoruba people as a means of enquiring into past, present and future circumstances. Ifa divination among the Yoruba comes in various forms like, Erindinlogun (which involves the casting of sixteen cowries), Agbigba (which employs a set of separate strings with four markers each), Obi-dida (kolanut casting), Omi-wiwo (water gazing), Owo-wiwo (palmistry), Awo-wiwo (mirror gazing) and Iyanrin-tite and Ifa-dida (divination with sixteen palm nuts). This paper used anthropological approach in its investigation. Ifa divination is significant among the people of Ijebu-Ode because of its prognostic power. They consult Ifa oracle for direction in life, to solve problems and make choices. Thus, there are many people of Ijebu-Ode that believe in Ifa divination in spite of the spread of Christianity and Islam and social changes. This has led to religious ambivalence as people practice Christianity or Islam as the case may be and still consult Ifa regularly at the same time. It is recommended that those who consult Ifa oracle based on their belief in the prognostic power of Ifa should be courageous to identify with the practice and propagate their religious beliefs in the public like other religions. Also, Ifa priests should rebrand their practices in order to attract more adherents.
Keywords: Ifa Divination, Prognostic power, Ijebu-Ode, South-Western