Book I’m reading #5: The Handbook of Yoruba Religious Concepts by Baba Ifa Karade

Hello all. I’ve finally finished reading this amazing book. It is a beginners handbook to the Yoruba Religion of West Africa. Yoruba is one of the oldest and largest religions of Africa. I first got into Yoruba when I was a teenager. My godmother studied it and would have these ceremonies at her house. The Baba  (father/priest) would chant these ancestral phrases, using a stick and drum, dancing and sacrificing certain animals. This was 15 year old Tareau thinking, “Wow this is cool.” I’ll give you my feelings as 33 year old Tareau towards the end of this post.

You see folks, unfortunately for us African Americans, we don’t have a  country. Africa is not a country. It is a continent with 54 countries and a lot of our own history was either stolen, burnt, forgotten or lost. It is also unfortunate that Christianity was beaten into our ancestors. During the TransAtlantic Slave trade, many of our Ancestors were in the Yoruba Religion. It was easy for us to transition into the slaves masters religion due to the similarities between the 2.

Orunmila is the prophet of Yoruba. Orunmila named 16 heavenly disciples as the Epitome of Yoruba. There is also the Orisha which consists of 8 deities who a follower must pray to when seeking different things. There is also Eshu the connector or translator between the spiritual world and the earth world.

Through this book which is 127 pages, I’ve learned a great amount of wisdom about this fascinating religion. Some could argue that Yoruba predates all Judaism, Islam, Christianity as well, they all have a similar message. You must also not wish for any bad things or harm to one another in the Yoruba faith, due to there being evil spirits that can come off in forms of occultism.

Spiritual baths, prayers, chants, songs, meditations, sacrifices, and discipline are practiced heavily in the Yoruba faith. One of the reasons it took me so long to read this book, was due to me not having a clear head. I would read, highlight, check my phone and get sidetracked. In other words, I was half assing it and it was wrong of me to do so.

My thoughts of Yoruba today from when I was a young man hasn’t change. I know now that if I am to pursue this, I have to be disciplined I’m my mind. Sometimes would not read my book for days. Sometimes I felt like it was an obligation and I was rushing trying to make our ancestors proud. But after talking to a good friend who is a Baba and also revisiting my godmother, u feel sit better about this journey. There is a lot of great things from this book but this was just the summary of it.

I even have an app on my phone to help me speak Yoruba  called “Yoruba 101.” It comes with games and achievements to help you with your progress. Thank  you for checking out our blog here at Please leave feedback and comments below.

Ase ✌



  1. This is a great introduction to Yoruba. I’ve always been interested in learning about different faiths/philosophies. I think I’ll visit the Detroit Library and check it out.. YES…The actual brick and mortar library:)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Frankly the deeper truths about spirituality are all the same across the board. It just gets twisted when people use religion to advance a specific cause—which is usually to dominate or oppress others.
    I am so glad that you have decided to dig deeper in a practice that has resonated with you for so long.
    By doing this, you will find a personal peace that ‘passeth all understanding’
    I love it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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