OBI ABATA = KOLA NUTS = EVI NKUNE
Sacred Messenger of God… Communication Between Earth & Heaven
Obi -Kola Nut is an Orisha (Deity), one of the 401 Orisha which constitute a major part of the Yoruba worship system. Obi was reduced to subordination to other Orisha because she refused to make her Ebo (Sacrifice) as prescribed by Ifa when she was to embark on her journey into the world. In addition, Obi was sentenced to suffer the fate of dryness, whenever she departs her husband leaf.
AJO “Awo Ile Aiye” / ABEMO “Awo Ode Isalu-Orun” They both usually met at the unknown boundary between Heaven & Earth, they were told to make sacrifice so that a single woman may not cause disagreement between them. They both play deaf & refused to appease “Holy Odu Obara Meji”, they said “How can a single woman bring misunderstanding between Heaven & Earth.
The Woman is called Obi, the wife of Abemo Awo Ode Isalu-Orun(Heaven). Abemo had gone to consult Ifa; he was told to make sacrifice for a child & money, Abemo made sacrifice for money only.
It is getting late in life, Obi has no child, she became sad, she ran to marry Ajo Awo Ile Aiye(Earth). Ajo heard & performed sacrifice for a child. Obi then got a single child for him. Then the year rolled by, the time for outing ceremony of the child came by Obi followed Ajo to meet Abemo. He was so angry to see that Ajo kept his wife for a whole year without sending her back to him, so Abemo began to say bad words to Ajo who voluntarily brought his wife from the world to meet him.
The fight became great between them. Obi moved clear from them to observe them, nobody to separate them, it became a bitter fight. When the two became exhausted and began to rest, then Ajo said, “It is a stupid fight that is staged between Heaven & Earth, there is no one to separate them, so that there may be confusion in heaven & on earth that is why Obi left me for you. Alright, you Ajo Awo Ile Aiye do not want us to ponder, and keep our words in the pocket. The Two of them became pleased, they came to an agreement and they decided to kill Obi, the source of the fight between them.
Obatala was passing by and found the dead body of Obi by the tree, he raised her up and asked her how she got there. When Obi finished telling him the story of how she got there, Obatala answered, It’s alright, I cannot question them, what they did is not bad. So he tied Obi Into the same bag, hanged her on the side of the tree he found her from, he went his way.
We Break Obi (Kola Nut) To Settle All Concerns Between Heaven & Earth
Obi – Kola Nut was also made to become an edible fruit to be eaten by other Orisha and also human beings. To the African, the Yoruba in particular, Obi is a symbol of life. Giving out Obi – kola Nut to visitors, friends, and well-wishers is a very symbolic gesture, meant to represent the continuity of life. Obi is therefore important to the African not only for eating but for symbolic purpose and also for the celebration of the sacredness of life continuity. Obi comes in two colors, Red and White. But Obi as we are told in Yoruba mythology, also suffers as part of her punishment.
Six (6) Various Types of Obi-Kola Nut
Akiriboto / Single Obi – The most uncommon types of kola nut according to mythological stories the kola nut has been maned to henceforth become subdivided into more than one lobe. This type is called “Akiriboto”. This type is mostly used for medicinal purposes.
Gbanja / Two Lobes Obi – Comes in both white and red colors with majority in white color. It is usually big in size and it is the one mostly preferred for chewing by many kola nut buffs for snacks or stimulants. It is not used for asking questions from the Orisha, divination, or any ritual, because it has no differentiation lines within the lobes and so it is not regarded for any ritual purpose, because it lacks the Male or Female characteristics.
Eta-Obi / Three Lobes Obi – Regarded as being very special to Eshu/Elegbara and other Orisha or for special medicinal use.
Iya-Obi / Four Lobes Obi – Regarded as the Mother Obi. She is eaten both by the Orisha and human beings. The Iya-Obi has two male lobes and two female lobes. It is this equal number of Male and Female lobes of the four lobe kola nut that make it very suitable for asking questions or for divination purposes. All divination systems other than Ifa, the accuracy of their responses to questions is not always reliable, because they could not be made to clarify detailed aspects of questions or responses. As a matter of fact, the Obi does not entertain asking the same questions more than once. It also does not respond to questions in variations. It usually answers Yes/No questions outside its designated Odu codes when used for that purpose.
Olufuwa / Five Lobes Obi – Said to belong to Oshun, the Deity for puberty, whiteness and cool serene water. It has the female lobe or the “Ofa” which have a double Female characteristic making her bottom ending look like a delta of a river. For divination purposes, the “Ofa” is always taken aside and given to Eshu from the lot and only two Males and two Females are used.
This is a 5 Lobes Olufua Obi-Abata top left are 2 females (delta) – center is a double female (belongs to Orisha Oshun)- far right are 2 males (straight lines).
Iwarefa / Six Lobes Obi – Regarded also as a special kola nut. Usually used for special occasions. It is used mostly for very sacred activities particularly the Awo Ogboni, who name their top-most hierarchy of the Iwarefa. During the coronation of Kings and the installation of important chiefs, the Obi Iwarefa is used.
Originally a tree of tropical rain-forest, it needs a hot humid climate, but can withstand a dry season on sites with a high groundwater level. It may be cultivated in drier areas where groundwater is available.
Regular weeding is a must and can either be done manually or by using herbicides. Some irrigation can be provided to the plants, but it is important to remove the water through an effective drainage system, as excess water may prove to be detrimental for the growth of the plant. When not grown in adequate shade, the kola nut plant responds well to fertilizers. Usually, the plants need to be provided with windbreaks to protect them from strong gales. Kola nuts can be harvested mechanically or by hand, by plucking them at the tree branch. When kept in a cool, dry place, kola nuts can be stored for a long time.
Human use of the kola nut, like the coffee berry and tea leaf, appears to have ancient origins. It is chewed in many West African cultures, individually or in a social setting, to restore vitality and ease hunger pains.
Kola nuts are an important part of the traditional spiritual practice of culture and religion in West Africa. Kola nuts are used as a religious object and sacred offering during prayers, ancestor veneration, and significant life events, such as naming ceremonies, weddings, and funerals. They are also used in a traditional divination system called Obi divination. For this use, only kola nuts divided into four lobes are suitable. They are cast upon a special wooden board and the resulting patterns are read by a trained diviner. This ancient practice is currently enjoying increased growth within the United States and Caribbean.
== In the 1800s, a pharmacist in Georgia, John Pemberton, took extracts of kola and Coca and mixed them with sugar, other ingredients, and carbonated water to invent the first cola soft drink. His accountant tasted it and called it “Coca-Cola”.==
Reference Sources: Wikipedia = Google Search/Photo = Babalawo Obanifa