top of page


Igba-Iwa…calabash of existence












Through what at the time seemed an almost miraculous accident The Ifa Foundation came into possession of the personal Igba Iwa of Afolabi Epega’s, Grandfather, the Patriarch Epega, who had been one of Bascomb's primary informants. At the time Afolabi had been visiting us from New York and had brought the Igba by train to our home to help in the initiation ceremony of yet another Ifa priest. Following the ceremony Afolabi was eager to go on to a meeting he had in New Orleans, and did not have the time to take a train. He strongly believed you could not fly with the Igba Iwa. We had spoken of his creating an Igba for the Foundation earlier, when suddenly he turned to me and asked: “Would you want the Igba of my Grandfather for the Foundation?” I was stunned, and frankly could not conceive of his even considering it, but I managed to stammer out: “we would be honored!” And so, the Ifa Foundation became the home for the Patriarch Epega's personal Igba Iwa...and joined forever, at a level that transcended the temporal – to the Epega bloodline. As all such powerful implements are “born” from the accumulated energy of an older implement, every Igba created at the Ifa Foundation relies upon the more than a century of accumulated spiritual energy contained in the Patriarch’s orginal Igba Iwa. 

The Igba Iwa , or Calabash of Existence, is the highest possible energy implement that a Babalawo can receive. Initiation into Ifa cannot be performed without the Igba Iwa being present and used to facilitate and authenticate the process. One of the few genuine secrets of the Ifa philosophy. It is also used as a check and balance over who should be initiated as an Ifa Priest, and is supposed to be given only to those who have demonstrated, and achieved, the wisdom and knowledge necessary to use this potent force. When all else fails, working with the Igba Iwa should remedy the situation...BUT, it is not meant that this enormous force be used carelessly or capriciously —the reason it is given ONLY selectively – but rather in those situations where the remedies of all other Orisa energies are not adequate.

For additional information please contact Iyanifa Vassa by or reaching us at 386-214-6489

bottom of page