Sunday, July 16, 2023

Types of Ori

Yoruba as a language is a very complex language. It is like Ifa you cannot finish learning it, you keep learning and learning as a word may connotes different meanings via its Ami (Accent mark).

To any Yoruba man, the word "Orí" has several meanings, Orí means Head. It means the apex of all things, the highest of any endeavor. 

What Orí connotes therefore is superlative or the zenith. For instance, the head is the highest and most important in the human body. It houses the brain which controls the whole body. 

Orí is the head, "Head" is the top, "Top" is the Supreme while "Supreme Being" is Olodumare.

Okemuyiwa and Fabunmi (1987) categorize Orí into two

● Physical head
● Spiritual head

Physical head: It is the human skull which encases the brain we use for thinking and controlling all the other part of the body either consciously or unconsciously, the eyes for seeing around us, nose for smelling and respiration, the ears for hearing and differentiating sounds , the mouth for eating and speaking while the tongue serves the tasting duty. 

All these sense of organs can also be used to communicate non-verbally. In other words, the whole essence of man is in the head. A man face (part of Orí) distinguishes him from the other person and gives him his individual identity. 

Without the Orí, man loses his identity and he is like any other person with limb and trunk.

FAMA (1993) Opines that "To the Yoruba people, this physical head is seen as a medium to Orí alásìnwáyé èdá ( Orí that accompanies one to life, otherwise known as destiny), and Orí inú (head that is within self).

Spiritual head : It is sub-divided into two
● Àpárí inú ( the internal Spiritual head)
● Orí Àpéré ( the sign of individual's personal god)

Orí Àpéré: It is the accumulation of an individual's destiny that is Àkúnlèyàn, Àkúnlègbà and Àyànmó. Àkúnlèyàn is that part of one's destiny which individual chooses out of his own free volition. 

Àkúnlègbà is that part of the destiny which is added as complimentary to Akunleyan. Àyànmó is that part of the destiny that can never be changed. For example, one's parents, one's gender, one's karma and so on. Àkúnlèyàn and Àkúnlègbà can be modified while Ayanmo cannot.

Àpárí inú (the internal Spritual Orí) : is simply an individual character. An individual may come to ìkòlè-Ayé (earth) with the best destiny but without good character; the bad Àpárí inú will definitely spoil his good destiny. For example, a person destined to be king of a town who takes pleasure in harming others may realize that he will never become king and if at all he was made king, he would soon be banished. 

That is why Ifa verse says that: "Orí ki burú ko fi dé alè, irè ti ìwà nìkan ló sòro" -- No matter how bad a person's destiny may be there is amendment, but the more difficult to amend is an individual's character.

FAMA (lib) explains Àpárí inú as the inner self that says, "Do this, Do that". The believe in the Yoruba religion is that Orí inu (Àpárí inú ) has to align with Orí alasinwaye(destiny) for good things to happen in one's life. 

For instance, if someone has a good destiny and his inner self works against that good destiny, there will always be problems.

On the whole, Orí is the most important of all deities. In order of importance the first is Orí, the second is mother and if dead, her spirit, the third , is one's father If dead, his spirit, the fourth, Ifa and fifth, the rest of the deities.

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