Tuesday 3 May 2022


The mutual understanding of all Ifa practitioners (babalawos) is that AGBONIREGUN is another name for Orunmila with reference from so many stanzas of various Odus in Ifa. 

The fact that the word AGBONIREGUN is a combination of two different words (ÀGBON+ÌRÈGÚN) to form a word, therefore, the satisfactory definition and meaning of this word, as related to Orunmila, can not be justifiably ascertain if the two words that formed this word are not separately spelled out and well defined for better understanding. 


ÀGBON = Coconut 

ÌRÈGÚN = Reproach 

The big question is how can the combination of coconut and reproach ( the expression of disapproval or disappointment ) form name of a great prophet like Orunmila ? Could it be that he's a coconut seller ? Could it be that he really loves to eat cokonut to the extent that he nicknamed himself with it ? 

This is the kind of thoughts and possibly conclusions of some non initiates (ògbèrì). 

Orunmila is known and usually referred to as ÀGBONÌRÈGÚN, a name that appears in so many Ifa stanzas as well as in abbreviated and benevolent form such as ÀGBONÌRÈGÚN  and ÒRÚNMÌLÀ BABA ÀGBONÌRÈGÚN respectively. I have come across so many articles from different Ifa scholars where they defines ÀGBONÌRÈGÚN in different ways that contradicts each other with reference to stanzas from Odus like Ogbè - Òfún which interprets the meaning of this name as "This coconut must have a long life" ( àgbon yìí ma ní ìrègún o). Another scholar states that it's meaning is explained in a stanza from Irete-Ogbe as " Coconut that will never be forgotten" ( àgbon tí ò ní regún ). 

Below is a particular myth that almost best explains the meaning to the formulation of this name and it's synonymity to Orunmila. But this can not be confidently presented to the world on the basis of the fact that there is no proof  that this myth is an extract from of any particular Ifa stanza. 

The myth states thus : 

The God of witness ( ÀJÀGÙNMÀLÈ ) and his son Akálà ( one of his attendants ) and Orunmila and his son Amósùn ( one of his students ) left Olódùmarè on a journey to the Mother Earth ( ìkòlé ayé) where they met two hundred people. The 200 people were put in care of Akálà and was given a drum. When they reached Òkè-ìtasè, Orunmila planted vegetable seeds and yam for Amósùn, his son and instructed him to make sure he takes proper care of the plantation as the proceeds will be his gain. Òrúnmìlà and Àjàgùnmàlè went back to heaven leaving their sons, Amósùn and Akálà, behind. Amósùn's vegetables and yams grew handsomely well as a result hard work and labour, but Akálà and his people soon ate what food they had and started living in hunger. They couldn't dance and make the environment lively again, as instructed by Àjagùnmàlè, due to hunger ; one of them even tried to beat Akálà's drum, but he was so hungry he became dizzy and fell down. Unable to continue in this indefinite hunger season that seems to be no hope, Akálà devise a means of solutions. He gave two of his followers to Amósùn in exchange for food. When that was finished,  he gave Amósùn two more. It became a continuous practice until he finally gave all his followers to Amósùn in exchange for food and later traded his drum for the same cause. Akálà was left with nothing.

After two years had passed, Òrúnmìlà and Àjagùnmàlè  decided to return to Ayé on a visit to see how their children were faring. When they reached Ìta Yemo ( the street of the wife of the God of witness, Àjàgùnmàlè ) they asked where they could find Akálà, but no one knew him. They asked again at the Oja Ife, Ife market and also at Ile Aje (goddess of money) but unfortunately nobody knew Akálà. Then Orunmila said "let us ask of Amósùn to see if anyone knows him" then they ask of Amósùn and where told he stays at Oke ìtasè beating his drum. When they reach Òke-ìtasè, they saw Amósùn wearing a crown with many people dancing in front of him. 

Amósùn sighted Órúnmįlà from distance and shook his cow tail switch ( ìrùkèrè ) at Orunmila. He sent eight of his followers to welcome Òrúnmìlà with warm greeting, saying Amósùn greets you; he who feeds a friend with his followers, he greets you. Then Amósùn's people received Òrúnmìlà's bag and ate the six Coconuts they found in the bag. 

In disgust, Òrúnmìlà reproached his son, saying " Amósùn, I am your father ! I brought you from heaven to earth !  I was the one that planted the vegetable and yam with which you fed yourself, your friend and his followers which you eventually took possession of !!!  I looked for you but could not find you. I finally came here and when you saw me you could not even get up to come and greet me. You only wave your ìrùkèrè at me from distance and your people took my coconuts and ate them. Ah !" Then the people were sorry and said " oh this is the father who brought us coconuts" that is why people say that they ate coconuts of reproach" ( àgbon onírègún ).

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