topic posted Tue, June 7, 2011 - 10:32 AM by  KmC1223
Hello eveyone ! =)

I would like to ask a question.

Why is mano de orula or an idel is always in the left hand ?

Does the left hand has a special meaning
posted by:
  • Unsu...


    Tue, June 7, 2011 - 12:07 PM
    Wow, that is a good question - I had to do a little research to find an answer (and maybe others have more detailed explanation).

    In the book, Santería: the religion, faith, rites, magic By Migene González-Wippler (page 103), she writes that "...the idé, or ilde-fá, must always be worn on the left hand which is...a symbol of life. The right hand symbolizes death. Because of the pact between Orúnla and Death, ratified by the idé, signifies life for the believer, he or she must wear the bracelet on the left hand."

    As best to my knowledge, the pact between Orula and Ikú is that if one is wearing a ide-fa, that he/she cannot die prematurely...or is able to ward off death if it is not their time.

      Tue, June 7, 2011 - 1:05 PM
      Wearing the Ide identifies you as a follower/believer of Orunmila as prophet of Olodumare, thus iku will pass you by until such time that you are to leave this existence, by virtue of the agreement made between Orunmila and Iku.

      I'll try to find the pataki.
      • Re: MANO DE ORULA

        Thu, June 9, 2011 - 5:44 PM
        The mark in question is Oche Fun, and you have summed it up... Orunla changed the hour of death in his agreement with Iku.


        Awo Ogbe Di

    Tue, June 7, 2011 - 2:37 PM
    Hi, Km!

    The only explanation I've ever received for why the left hand/arm is significant is because it is believed to be closest to our hearts. To the best of my knowledge, that is the same reason that the wedding ring is worn on the left hand.

    Those who mentioned the pataki regarding Orunla and Death and the ide are correct, but I'll have to check with my Nigerian friend to see if there is any collaborating indigenous Yoruba Ifa myths associated with the left hand, or if the selection of the left hand/arm is a European introduced idea that worked its way into orisha-related stories.



    Tue, June 7, 2011 - 6:09 PM

    The reason we wear all of our religious "jewelry" i.e., ide de santo, ide de Obatala and other orishas, Ide Orula, is because Yoruba practice borrow somewhat from Egyptian belief (who borrowed from the Greeks). In ancient times, there was a belief that a veina amori - or vein of love - ran from the 4th digit (3rd finger, where we wear wedding rings) on your left hand straight to the heart.

    Thus - the belief survived in that we wear all our power objects on our left hand to denote that they are in accordance with our "hearts" and "minds" being one. This is also said to be evident in odu readings - the left hand is older than the right one, and is considered to be the "affirmative hand".

    If one is told to open the left hand, and the ibo supplied is positive - than the head and heart are in agreement. If the ibo is considered negative but the answer is still positive (i.e. Irosun or Ogbe/Unle), than it is considered that the "head" and the "heart" are at opposition.


      Thu, June 9, 2011 - 10:36 AM
      What a great explanation! Love the way you broke it down and now it all makes so much sense. I remember seeing a picture up here and and the ide was on the right hand and it threw me off. I asked why but didn't really get a response. I had always been told it goes on the left and knew of the pack with Iku but never knew why the left. Thanks!
    • Unsu...


      Fri, June 10, 2011 - 11:10 AM
      Wow, Ged. I never heard that in regards to Santeria...muy interesante.

      In Native American and Indigenous American traditions, the left is sacred - also because it is on the side of your is considered the "receiving" side and the "feminine" side (feminine because the heartbeat is supposed to be our connection to our mothers, something like that). All ceremonial dances or rituals always are done (in a circle) beginning to the left first and then to the right.... I THINK in Chinese Medicine philosophies, as well, there is a sacredness about the left.

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