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  • Writer's pictureAwo Ifasola Sangobolade


Updated: Jan 14, 2021

From odu Ogbe odi

Ogbedikaka, Ogbedilele cast Ifa for Esu when he was serving a term of slavery with Orunmila, Orisa-oko, and Ogun. Esu was asked to offer as a sacrifice: palm kernel shells, nine pigeons, and eighteen thousand cowries. Ifa medicine should be prepared to enable him to pay his debts. Esu refused to sacrifice. Esu was a fisherman at that time. Whenever he caught a lot of fish in his trap, the irunmale (four hundred deities) were envious of him. They thought that Esu could soon make enough money to bail himself out of his financial straits. For this reason, they decided to send him on errands to distant places on the same day. Orunmila sent Esu to Oke-Bisi to bring his bag and tray. After sending the message, Orunmila thought of consulting the Ifa oracle on the matter. He called the babalawos who divined Ifa saw Ogbedikaka. Orunmilla was advised to sacrifice six rabbits, six pigeons, and twelve thousand cowries, He heard and performed the sacrifice.

Ifa medicine was prepared for him by tying up the six rabbits in the bag. They warned him to carry the bag with him. Orisa-nla asked Esu to go to Ode-Irawo. Ogun asked Esu to go to Ode-Ire and bring his gbamdari (a large cutlass). Quickly, Esu got up and went to a nearby bush, where he conjured and obtained all the things requested. Immediately after Esu had left, all the irunmale went to collect the fish from his trap. As he was returning home, he found them sharing his fish. When he appeared unexpectedly, everybody pocketed the fish. He delivered all the items that they had requested him to fetch. Esu then began to question everybody.

“Where did you get the fish you were sharing?” Some were apologizing; some did not know what to say. Those begging his pardon decided to give up their claims on the money he owed them. He should not let anyone hear that they had stolen. It was custom in Ife at that time that nobody must steal. Orunmila said he did not steal Esu’s fish. Esu said Orunmila must have stolen the fish that were tied up in the bag he was holding. Esu thought fish noses were bulging out of the bag.

They took the matter to court at Ife town. They argued. The court decided to ask Orunmila to unveil the contents of his bag. He loosened the bag and they saw the six rabbits he threw out. They started to blame Esu. Esu begged Orunmila for his pardon. Orunmila refused to accept his apology. Esu further pledged his house and other possessions to Orunmila. Orunmila still refused to accept his plea. Esu responded that he would go home with Orunmila and continue to serve him forever. They handed Esu over to Orunmila. When they arrived at Orunmila house, Esu wanted to enter with Orunmila. Orunmila refused and asked Esu to sit outside. Orunmila said what he ate inside the house he would share with Esu outside.

Esu has been living outside ever since that day.

The odu ogbe odi shows us the consequences of not preforming the prescribed sacrifice. As well as being careful to not jump to conclusions before we have the full information.

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