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Etymology of IFA

Etymology of IFA 



lfa has also led some writers to much speculation sometimes tending towards folk etymology. 



Some writers say that the word Ifa comes from the root 'fa' which means 'to scrape' or, in an idiomatic sense, 'to embrace, to contain'. 




Some I fa priests themselves do not seem to be much informed on the question 
of the etymology of the word Ifa. 


Thus Chief Fagbemi Ajanaku, the high priest of the Ifa cult in Lagos, writes: 'Nitori pe ko si ohun ti <}r<} Ql¢run ko fa tan, ni w¢n ~e pe e ni Ifa.'


(It is because there is nothing that the word of God (i.e. Ifa) does not embrace that it is called Ifa). 


There is nothing either in the Ifa myths or in the Ifa corpus itself to support this view. 


it is not possible to trace the etymology of 
such ancient names as Ifa and Orunmila runmila, especially since the structure of the words does not permit a straight forward analysis. 

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