Ifa Divination

by John Pemberton III
Professor Emeritus, Amherst College

The Ifa divination ritual known as Imori, Ijebu-Ode, Yoruba peoples, Nigeria, July 1982. Photo by John Pemberton III.

Imori is the first stage in a series of rites over a nine-year period in which the individuality of a person is slowly discerned and acknowledged. At the beginning of the rite, the child 's forehead, the place where the ori inu resides, is touched to the iyerosun dust on the surface of the divination board as a sign of the identification of the child's personal destiny with the particular odu disclosed during the ritual.