The Handbook of Yoruba Religious Concepts

Written by on January 5, 2021

An introduction to the spiritual source of the beliefs and practices that have so profoundly shaped African American religious traditions.

Most of the Africans who were enslaved and brought to the Americas were from the Yoruba nation of West Africa, an ancient and vast civilization. In the diaspora caused by the slave trade, the guiding concepts of the Yoruba spiritual tradition took root in Haiti, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Brazil, and the United States.

In this accessible introduction, Baba Ifa Karade provides an overview of the Yoruba tradition and its influence in the West. He describes the sixteen Orisha, or spirit gods, and shows us how to work with divination, use the energy centers of the body to internalize the teachings of Yoruba, and create a sacred place of worship. The book also includes prayers, dances, songs, offerings, and sacrifices to honor the Orisha.

“Karade maintains persuasively that Yoruba is a divine journey to the inner self and to God-consciousness. Readers of this straightforward text will find familiar concepts such as angels and even an elevated stature comparable to that of the ‘son of God’ in the person of Orunmila, the prophet of Yoruba religion. Further, the text compares Yoruban religious concepts to those of other religions in order to make understanding the tradition even easier. Prayers and rituals (e.g., herbal baths, etc.) complete this interesting handbook. Illustrated.” —Publishers Weekly

Baba Ifa Karade holds a degree in Africana studies from Rutgers University and has written a number of books about the Yoruba/Ifa culture. He has traveled to Kenya, Nigeria, the Caribbean, Brazil, Netherlands, and throughout the United States. He’s been a keynote lecturer at colleges across the United States and at Orisha conferences throughout the world.

By Baba Ifa Karade

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