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
Iwa is a key moral category in the Ifa tradition and means character or moral behavior. Among the most preeminent scholars of Ifa, it is believed that the term iwa means the essence of being. Wanda Abimbola, considered the major authority of Ifa, always claimed that iwa characterized a person's ethical life. Within this conception, humans may have either good character (ìwà, darà, rere) or bad character (ìwà bururu) . In addition, iwapele (gentle character) is embraced as the finest kind of good character. In the Ifa tradition, iwapele is the greatest virtue a person can possess. The essence of worship is to cultivate iwapele . The reason for this is that ìwà lèsiti means religious devotion. In other words, character is the essence of religious worship. The position of good character as the major moral value in Ifa tradition can be seen in several passages in the Odu Ifa ...