- Paperback: 128 pages
- Publisher: Athelia Henrietta Pr; illustrated edition edition (July 1, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1890157201
- ISBN-13: 978-1890157203
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #919,886 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Imoye: A Definition of the Ifa Tradition illustrated edition Edition
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Mr. Karade needs no help when writing chapter 2 (of three), where he is concentrating solely on the Ifa religion. He displays more knowledge, intelligence and poetic power than 999 out of 1000 writers on this and similar subjects. His brief but succinct characterizations of seven of the orisas ('gods/goddesses') are astoundingly rich - so incisive and deep! Read them at the right time, when you're relaxed and in the right mood - not only will they begin to light up your world, but will show how these principles of divine intelligence interlace beautifully and powerfully to render our world/cosmos both its form and function. Each one of these terse formulations shows one of the orisas as a layer of the whole - and how they all interpenetrate so beautifully.
Karade also does an amazing job articulating Ifa's principles of right, ethical living, etc. There are so many, very expressive kernels of truth and knowledge running through this entire chapter, it totally wows me. And he attempts at certain junctures to help out his parishioners by offering interpretations of some of the more obscure phrasings of Yoruba myth and text, and does a good job. Interpretation is always a dicey game - he doesn't go too far - just opens the door a little so you can get a sneak peek, then decide to explore for yourself, now or later.
Elsewhere in the book (chapters 1 & 3) there are literally dozens of times it seems Mr. Karade is riding a wave of numinous excitement when he resorts to a sound bite to get his point across, or to amplify his argument; but the sound bite he's chosen often doesn't compute. We can cut him slack because, after all, his thesis is moving excitedly along, and making quite a bit of sense; but there are too plentiful moments that some might consider 'brain farts'. Maybe these were direct, intentionally unedited transcriptions from speeches or sermons, which somewhat lets him off the hook.
I mean we all write this way to an extent, but most of us edit it several times before we let it fly off to public view. That way those bits that don't quite fit the context, or don't quite match the way people usually talk and listen, can get weeded out. Mr. Karade either didn't edit, or he's too proud to improve on his original draft (which I doubt, but . . .), or otherwise he doesn't care to. Possibly, he just doesn't yet know any better. But we all have to live and learn. (In one of Zulu shaman Credo Mutwa's most recent writings he strenuously chastises the writing style of his much earlier work 'Indaba, My Children', though I personally haven't found much of anything to fault there.)
In spite of the frequent stylistic gaffs, Mr. Karade effectively assumes a mantle of eloquence with respect to his attempts to outline and explain the deleterious effect the Muslim and European/Christian colonizers have had upon the native religions of Africa, and upon the practitioners of those high-minded and deeply rooted modalities.
But at times, I think he's just too brief, and uses high gloss vocabulary to make the reader ignore how spare his explanations are . . . when we really want more . . . more . . . more. Maybe being a minister makes him want to flesh out the full story only to the initiates/members of his church - and maybe that's OK, but . . .
Mr. Karade's third chapter (on the origins of the slave trade in Africa) is an amazing read, even when he makes claims that I hadn't heard before. There's plenty of fire, and it's quite astounding how effectively he channels it (good energy - no hints of hatred), despite the occasional tangents, false starts, etc.
But it would help immensely here (and, really through much of chapter 1 and parts of chapter 2) to have detailed footnotes so one could go and check out the references, not because one doesn't believe him, but because you want to read more . . . more . . . more! There is not a footnote in the entire book, despite its containing a 3-page bibliography.
I enjoyed the Introduction and Chapter 1 and had prepared myself for more.
Frustration was my feeling as I kept reading it and realized how shallow it is. And after finishing the book, I could not understand what the author was aiming at, it made no sense, it was like each chapter had a series of information poorly related to other chapters.
I felt it was not worth the purchase.