Babalawo, Santeria's High Priests: Fathers of the Secrets in Afro-Cuban Ifa

Babalawo, Santeria's High Priests: Fathers of the Secrets in Afro-Cuban Ifa

by Frank Baba Eyiogbe


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Cuban Ifá From An Insider

Hidden within the mysterious Afro-Cuban religion of Santería, also known as Lucumí, there is a deep body of secrets and rituals called Ifá, divination practiced by priests whose title, babalawo, means “Father of the Secrets.” This book pulls away the veil of secrecy to reveal exactly what Ifá is and how it works, exploring its history, cosmology, Orichas, initiations, mythology, offerings, and sacrifices. Join Frank Baba Eyiogbe in this fascinating introduction that discusses the functions of the babalawo, the role of women, the future of Ifá, and much more.

“A wonderful and much needed addition to the literature on Afro-Cuban religion. Engagingly written, scholarly while remaining accessible . . . it presents an up-to-date exposition of both the history and contemporary philosophy of one of the world’s most complex systems of divination.”—Stephan Palmié, Chair of the Department of Anthropology and Social Sciences at the University of Chicago and author of The Cooking of History: How Not to Study Afro-Cuban Religion

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780738739618
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD.
Publication date: 02/08/2015
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 845,646
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Frank Baba Eyiogbe has been practicing Santeria for over twenty-seven years: twenty-three years as a santero (Orisha priest) and eighteen years as a babalawo (initiated in Cuba). Frank has achieved the highest level of babalawo, "Olofista." He created the premier Santeria website, and has been a guest on NPR’s All Things Considered and The Global Guru and was interviewed for LIFE magazine. He has guest lectured at the University of Washington as well as UC Berkeley.

Table of Contents

Notes on the Writing of This Book xiii

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 What Is Ifá? 7

Chapter 2 How Ifá Works 21

Chapter 3 Babalawo 41

Chapter 4 Ifa Comes to Cuba 57

Chapter 5 Lucumi 71

Chapter 6 Orichas and Powers 91

Chapter 7 Initiations 111

Chapter 8 Ebbó: Sacrifice's and Offerings 123

Chapter 9 Odduns 137

Chapter 10 Ways of Power: Aché atí Ogbogba - Power and Balance 147

Chapter 11 Women and Feminine Power in Ifá 161

Chapter 12 Tata Gaitan 169

Epilogue: One Babalawo's Story 177

Notes 185

Glossary 199

Bibliography 213

Index 217

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Babalawo, Santeria's High Priests: Fathers of the Secrets in Afro-Cuban Ifa 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
adeeya More than 1 year ago
A careful and artful introduction to the world of Ifá and the priests who study and work the tradition. Frank Baba Eyiogbe should be commended for the accessibility of his discussion and artful storytelling. If you're interested in Ifá and Santería this book belongs on your shelf for constant reference.