What does iboru iboya ibosheshe mean?

What does iboru iboya ibosheshe mean and why is Orula greeted this way? Discover its meaning

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Iboru, Iboya, Ibosheshe is part of the patakies and stories that make up the Yoruba religion, which through the word of ifá tell us all the events of the past, present and future.

In this way, we can learn much more about our religion through stories from the past and learn about the ancestral teachings.

Iboru, Iboya, Ibosheshe
What does iboru iboya ibosheshe mean?

So to understand the true meaning of Iboru, Iboya, Ibosheshe and why it has been used for thousands of years as the greeting when facing the diviner par excellence Orula.

Patakí of the three women who saved Orula: Iboru, Iboya, Ibosheshe

A famous Yoruba patakí told that olofin had called one by one the babalawos from many parts of the world to ask them two questions, to which none of them had been able to answer.

Such was his displeasure, that he seized each of the babalawos who could not give him an answer; for this reason he seized them.

In addition to this, he stated that since they were unable to guess, he would put them all to the sword.

The last one he sent for was Orunmila, who, without hesitation, set off to meet Olofin.

Below, we explain the meaning of Iboru, Iboya, Ibosheshe and why the soothsayer Orula has been greeted this way for years.


On his long journey to meet Olodumare, Orula met a girl who was cutting firewood, and he went to ask this young woman what her name was.

To which she replied Iború, the girl told him that the important thing was to “watch the banana candle being born”, the fortune teller to show his gratitude gave her adiè (hen) and owó (money).


As Orunmila continued on his way, he met another girl who was washing clothes in the river; she told him her name was Iboyá.

In addition, she told Orula that Olofin had kidnapped many people, and for her support Orula also gave her many of the same gifts as the previous one.


Finally, before reaching his destination, he met another girl called Ibochiché, and it was she who told him that Olofin wanted to marry off his daughter.

As with the other two girls, Orula gave her adiè and also owó.

When he arrived at the palace, Olofin told Orula that he had called him for him to guess a couple of questions, and he asked him: 

Olofin: What do I have in that room?

Orula: There is a plantain tree that is giving birth, Orunmila answered with complete certainty.

To which Olofin immediately replied, “And what is it that I want you to guess?

Orula: What do you wish to marry off your daughter, and for just not divining you, they have many of my sons prisoners; replied the soothsayer.

It was in this way that Olofin was totally surprised and immediately ordered the release of all the babalawos, who were imprisoned.

Upon his departure, Olofin said to Orula: “Mogdupuè”, to which Orunmila replied that from that day on he preferred to be called: “Iború, Iboyá, Ibochiché”.

Since that day, that same phrase is the only correct way in which we should greet Orunmila.

What does Iború, Iboyá, Ibosheshe mean?

As for its literal meaning, we can say that it would be as follows:

  • Let the sacrifice be made
  • May the sacrifice be accepted
  • Let the sacrifice be effective 

In addition to this, the legend that we have already mentioned says that “Iború, Iboyá, Ibosheshe” as a phrase, also refers to the 3 women who saved Orula.

What do you think of this incredible ancestral story? You know the true meaning of Iború, Iboyá, Ibosheshe, and how this phrase has been used to greet the soothsayer for thousands of years.

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