"Okan sprouts firm
It enters the forest
Ogan sprouts long and slender
It reaches the road, and
In climbing a hill, one's hips move, 'biripe-yunyun'
These were the ones who cast Ifa for Aheresoko
Son of the Patient One, diviner of Hero of Fish
They said, in that year, his ORI would take him to the place
Where he would achieve his destiny
They said he should sacrifice two rats, two fish, and two chickens
Her heard and offered the sacrifice
- Holy Odu IworiMeji
The King of Igbodo died. A fish was placed inside a calabash and covered up. Whoever could recite the Ifa verses that revealed what was inside the calabash would be made king. All the babalawos of the kingdom recited verses when called upon. But none mentioned the word 'fish.'
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Aheresoko was passing by. They saw the beads of IFA upon his wrist and called him to recite verses. He rejected the offer, stating that he did not know how to recite Ifa. He said; Okan sprouts firm. It enters the forest. Ogan sprouts long and slender. It reaches the road, and In climbing a hill, one's hips move, 'biripe-yunyun' were the ones who cast Ifa for me, Son of the Patient One, who was the diviner of Hero of Fish.
When the people of Igbodo heard this, they took him to be their king. Aheresoko is what we call the spotted hyena. Two years after Aheresoko became an honored and respected son of Igbodo, the ewes and she-goats began disappearing. It was Esu who was taking them because Aheresoko had only sacrificed for a title and not to protect himself against a slanderer. Esu went to the people and said, 'Don't you know that the one you made king is stealing the ewes and she-goats and eating them!?' The people conferred with one another and dethroned Aheresoko.
When Aheresoko saw what was happening, he went back to his babalawos. They told him to perform sacrifice. He was to take the sacrifice to the riverbank before dawn and await the sunrise there. At daybreak, the women of Igbodo went to the river to draw water at the place where Aheresoko had made his sacrifice. Esu put the sacrificial meat inside their containers and he turned the water they had dipped into blood. Esu instructed Aheresoko to follow the women and to arrest them.
When the matter reached court, Esu said to the people of Igbodo, 'Have you dethroned your king for killing animals and eating them, while you yourselves have been sending your wives to bring the same meat home?' He said, 'Whether you like it or not, you must find a way to take him back and make him king again.'
Ifa says that the one who attains a title should sacrifice against a slanderer. When a person has lost something, sacrifice will cause it to be returned.*
Obafemi Origunwa, MA | www.ObafemiO.com
*Bascom, William. Ifa Divination.