Yeye'woro and Iyanifa in the Ifa/Orisha Tradition
Luisah Teish is an initiated edler (Iyanifa) in the Ifa/Orisha tradition of the West African Diaspora, and she holds a chieftaincy title (Yeye'woro) from the Fatunmise Compound in Ife Ife, Nigeria. She grew up in New Orleans, LA, and spent many hours along the banks of the Mississippi River, an area rich in folklore, music and mystery. As a child, Teish was surrounded by a community of elders who maintained centuries’ old stories and traditions. Luisah soon learned that her intelligence was measured by her ability to decipher proverbs and to glean life-guidance from the content of stories. This influence awakened a creativity that led to her gathering materials, both oral and written. For forty years, Luisah has been a storyteller, writer, and community activist. She speaks about learning to love the Earth, our Mother, and shares her personal stories of growing up in the South and her relationship to the land. She recounts and examines cultural myths that have mis-educated us into alienation from Our Mother Earth. Teish identifies the effects this estrangement has on the individual, the human community, and the Earth.