What are EEWO / TABOOS?
BY FAGBEMIJO AMOSUN FAKAYODE
Eewo are taboos. They are close with all the negative forces in the world, such as death, disease, loss, etc. when we break our eewo’s, we are inviting those negative forces into our lives.
Everyone has different eewo — what is taboo for one person may actually be good for a different person, only Ifa knows.
If we knowingly choose not to observe our own personal taboos, we cannot be guaranteed the Ire (blessings) we are destined to receive in our life.
We cannot say for sure what the implications will be, as we do not know for sure, but at the same time we cannot safely say we are guaranteed to have all blessings in life eventually, if we are patient, as is the case for one who follows their taboos and the teachings of Orunmila. One who heeds the advice of Ifa and follows the eewo carefully will eventually, with patience, have all blessings in life.
However, if we are consciously breaking our taboos we can more or less be guaranteed that we will not have all the good things in life. Or even if we do live a good life while conscientiously breaking our eewo’s, we can be sure that we will have to answer to Olodumare when the life is through and explain why we purposefully violated our taboos.
Even when we are not consciously breaking the taboo, bad things may come of it. For example in the Sacred Odu Ifa Ogbedi (Ogbe Odi) we learn of Osun and her troubles with guinea corn, one of her eewo — taboos. She was unconsciously eating the guinea corn via the animals the hunter of her home had caught near the guinea corn farm. This was preventing her from becoming pregnant and bearing children, and she did not even know she was consuming it.
Ogbe Odi says:
Oni wiriwiri Ogbedi
Ola wiriwiri Ogbedi
Eye nla ni fapa sogan
oku ope ni homu leyin
a difa fun Jenjoke (Osun’s hunter)
Ti i se wolewode Osun
Osun o mama je baba
eyin o ri bi baba se n wonu Osun
n ko mama jeu eewo mo
o tun daye atunwa mi
Today Ogbedi appears
Tomorrow Ogbedi appears
big bird carries her arms at once
Dead palm tree is one on whose back omu grows
Cast Ifa for Jenjoke
The closest servant to Osun
Osun did not eat guinea corn
Don’t you see how it got in her
I shall never eat forbidden things
Never in my lifetime
When she realized and stopped eating the animals caught near the guinea corn farm, Osun was able to become pregnant and have children. This is just one example of what violating ones taboos can bring about.
(Ifa verse from OSUN THE MANLY WOMAN by Fayemi Fatunde Fakayode)