The Investigating Religious Ethics and Sociocultural Relationships in-between Ifá and Ayò Ọlọ́pọ́n among the Yoruba of Southwestern Nigeria: A Critical Comparative Study


  • Oluwole Okewande University of Ilorin



Ifá, ayò ọlọ́pọ́n, code, culture, ethics, semiotics


In Africa, ethics are encapsulated their various religious and social activities. Among the Yoruba, ethnical codes are propagated in religious activities especially, Ifá and in socio-cultural activities such as ayò ọlọ́pọ́n. Ifá, the springboard on which Yoruba culture rests have specialized formal and informal rules regulating its activities. This informs why violation of rules guiding Ifá profession is regarded as ethical misconduct; the punishment of which may attract severe spiritual and/or human sanctions. Likewise, ayò ọlọ́pọ́n- indigenous Yoruba sociocultural board game have informal ethical rules. However, despite the national and international nomenclatures of Ifá and ayò ọlọ́pọ́n, no study is known that undertakes ethical interrelationship between the two cultural elements together. Employing code- a semiotic element, a channel through which communication is encoded. Ethical code of Ifá is compared with ayò ọlọ́pọ́n. It is found out that, there are affinities between operational rules guiding against Ifá divination profession and rules guiding against ayò game. This study concludes that, among the Yoruba, ethical codes of Ifá and ayò ọlọ́pọ́n are activated for sustainability of peace and development. Ethics of Ifá and ayò ọlọ́pọ́n are found related and therefore, ayò ọlọ́pọ́n ethical code is an extension of Ifá ethical code.


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How to Cite

Okewande, O. (2023). The Investigating Religious Ethics and Sociocultural Relationships in-between Ifá and Ayò Ọlọ́pọ́n among the Yoruba of Southwestern Nigeria: A Critical Comparative Study. Journal of Central and Eastern European African Studies, 2(4), 22–35.