Orunmila (Òrúmnìlà), also known in Afro-Cuban practice as Orula, is the Yoruba orisa that follows Olodumare (Olódùmarè). He is the witness of creation and is the most beloved prophet of Olodumare, who endowed him with words of great power.

Who is Orunmila?

Orunmila is the Orisa of divination and wisdom. He encoded Olodumare’s messages in 256 signs to manifest them to humanity in what, today, we know as the sacred word of Ifá, which will be used to answer all the questions and concerns of believers through divination. That is why Orunmila is also known, directly, as Ifá; because it is he who makes Olodumare’s message known.

To get to know Olodumare’s message, the Orisa Orunmila uses the sacred instruments of Ifá and showed them to the orishas saying: “These ikin ifá and opele are the instruments that know the beginning and the end of all things. They are the sacred instruments of Ifá. With these instruments, Olodumare’s encrypted messages can be decrypted and will be used to answer difficult questions”.


The 16 ikin of Orunmila

Orunmila (Orula) is represented by the 16 ikin or seeds of the holy palm. According to Yoruba history, the Orisa Orunmila spent most of her life in Apa (Àpà) where she taught many Babalawo the word of Olodumare. There some people hated him and being offended by one of his eight children, he decided to leave the town.

Not long after, the inhabitants of Apa began to suffer all kinds of calamities and sent the children of Orunmila to look for him, to return and help them. When they found Orunmila under the palm tree, he told them that he had already finished his mission on earth but gave them 16 seeds of the holy palm saying that in order to have all the good things in life, they should ask the Babalawo.

“Owó le bá féé ní láyè
Eni tí e ó maa bi nìyen
Omo le bá fee ní láyè
Eni tí e ó maa bi nìyen
Aikù le bá féé ní láyè
Eni tí e ó maa bi nìyen
Òrúnmìlà afèdè-fèyò
Ifá re’é Olókun
Kò dé mò
Ó ní eni tí e bá ti rí
E sá maa pèé ní Bàbá”

“If you seek wealth
This is the person you have to ask
If you are looking for children
This is the person you have to ask
If you are looking for a long life
This is the person you have to ask
Orunmila, the one who speaks all languages
Ifá left Olokun’s house
And never came back
He said to anyone you see
Ask him to direct you to the “Bàbá”.

How to feed Orunmila

In the traditional Ifá there are specific days of the week that are dedicated to the propitiation of Orunmila, which you can consult in the exclusive calendar of Ifá applications. Orumila’s day can be of two types:


It is the day that the offerings are made to Orunmila. It can be once or several times a week. These offerings help us overcome everyday difficulties and obtain all kinds of luck. For the offerings of this day also known as Orun Ifá materials such as obi abata, oti (brandy), epo and food are used. The details of making the offerings can be found in Ifá Tradicional Pro.


It is a special day in which several babalawo gather together with their omo awo (Ifá apprentices) to propitiate Orunmila. Many take the opportunity to make an Ifá divination and make the necessary offerings of the Ifá sign. In this case Orunmila verses are recited and refer to the Itadogun. To know more about this Ifá day, you can download the Ojú Odù application.