by John Pemberton III
Professor Emeritus, Amherst College
The sixteen ikin ifa are kept in an agere ifa, a shallow bowl often skillfully carved depicting figures commending the ase (power or authority) of those who have followed the wisdom of Orunmila. This agere ifa depicts a kneeling female figure holding aloft the large bowl containing the ikin ifa. In her strength and physical beauty she images the ase (power or authority) of a follower of Orunmila and is surrounded by four female followers who lift their breasts in salutation to ifa.