Creation Myth


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Primary School Leaving Certificate Examination Paper 1961

Orisha Sculpture
Yoruba Artwork

Yoruba Ifa Ifaism Obatala
The name Yourba in Africa encompasses a group of people that speak the same language and live within certain boundaries in West Africa, Stretching from Senegal to Cameroon.


If we take the Yoruba Creation Myth of Ifá, Obatala climbs down the chain from Heaven to Earth. The chain is symbolic of the double helix which is the form found within genes used to store DNA (Also known as Hermes Staff, the Staff of Tehuti or the Caduceus). On the right column: Ifa Bowl; Right in the middle column: Yoruba depiction of Obatala. The journey from Heaven to Earth is a reference to the emergence of hidden or latent potential into manifest reality. When you are in the womb you would have invisible potential as a child, and after you are born that potential becomes manifest. The womb is the passageway between heaven and earth; it is the doorway that allows for reincarnation.


Exam Paper

To learn more please click here to link to the website dedicated to these articles. In the beginning there was only the sky above, water and marshland below. The chief god- Olorun ruled the sky, and the goddess- Olokun ruled what was below. Obatala, another god, reflected upon this situation, then went to Olorun for permission to create dry land for all kinds of living creatures to inhabit. To learn more click here


Ministry of Education, Western Nigeria Yoruba Primary School Leaving Certificate Examination 1961 Yorùbá paper. Yorùbá: Wákàtí Kan àti ààbò. English, meaning Wákàtí (Hour), Kan (One), àti (And), ààbò (Half), one and half-hour. Dahun (Answer), ìbéèrè (Questions), Kínní (First or One), àti (And), Merin (Four), Ninu (within), Àwon (These) Yòókù (Remaining), Márùn (Five), ìbéèrè (Questions). Answer the first question no 1. and four more out of the remaining five Questions.

1: Yoruba; Ko àròko lórí okan nínú àwon wonyí, English: Ko (Write), àròko (Essay), lórí (On), okan (One), nínú (Any), àwon (Of), wonyí (These). Write one essay on any of these.



Note: The Yorùbá language has special symbols on top and below certain Yorùbá alphabets. For example, the Yorùbás has two sets of (O) and (E), first, O pronounced as O, then there is (O) with a dot symbol underneath pronounced as Or. Secondly there is (E), pronounced as A, then there is (E) with a dot symbol underneath pronounced as Err. The markings on top of the words, is to help with the pronounciation as well as differentiating between similar words, when speaking Yorùbá language.

Yoruba Language



Ifa Bowl


For example these words (Oorun) Sleep, (Òórùn) Smell, (?run) Sky, (òrùn) Sun, (òru) Night and (̒Ọru) Heat.


This symbol (`) is pronounced (Doe), then this symbol (´) is pronounced (Me) and if there is neither symbols on the word, it is pronounced (Ray).


Ifa Bowl


Therefore the word Yorùbá will sound like, (Ray), no special symbol on top, follow by (`), pronounced (Doe) and (´) pronounced (Me) making it sound like (Ray-Doo-Mee).


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