Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Diedre L. Badejo
Orunmila is the Yoruba deity of wisdom, knowledge, and omniscience who is also known by several cognomens that further highlight his nature and role in the Yoruba pantheon. Thus, Orunmia is known as Eleri Ipin, that is, the “witness to creation and destiny,” and as Ibikeji Olodumare, “second to the Creator, Olodumare.” From this position, Orunmila speaks to the complexities of life. Renowned for his wisdom and understanding of humanity and divinity, he is also called Agbonniregun, “a wise man without bones (in his body),” thus emphasizing his omniscience and compassion. Consequently, he is knowledgeable of all human and divine matters, the ways of the world, and all related phenomena. Orunmila is one of the major orisa or IrunMole in the Yoruba pantheon, and indeed he is considered the spokesperson for all orisa. Most significant, Orunmila is the patron and guardian of Ifa, the extensive oral tradition of Yoruba knowledge ...