Teresa N. Washington’s first book, Our Mothers, Our Powers, Our Texts: Manifestations of Àjẹ́ in Africana Literature, reveals the Pan-African power and profundity of Àjẹ́ and its myriad sister systems in Pan-African literature and culture. In The Architects of Existence: Àjẹ́ in Yoruba Cosmology, Ontology, and Orature, Washington undertakes an in-depth exploration of Àjẹ́’s Yoruba Gods, origins, and manifestations to reveal the force’s vast depth, complexity, and scope.

By analyzing diverse sources, including published studies, historical texts, divination verses, and interviews with Yoruba wisdom keepers, Washington elucidates the multifaceted and complex nature of Àjẹ́ and reveals the power to be extraordinarily dynamic, influential, and logical.

Washington’s meticulous exposition of Àjẹ́ includes chapters on the multifold power of Odù, the Great Mother Àjẹ́; Àjẹ́’s signs, symbols, and orders of operation; manifestations of Àjẹ́ in the Odù Ifá; the roles of Àjẹ́ in Yoruba secret societies and sacred institutions; and the impact of Àjẹ́ on some of the Yoruba world’s most influential sons, including Olatubosun Oladapo, Wole Soyinka, and Fela Anikulapo Kuti.

The Architects of Existence is a groundbreaking study that will be essential reading for scholars of Yoruba Studies, Philosophy, African Studies, Gender Studies, and Religious Studies. Initiates and practitioners of Yoruba spiritual arts and sciences will find this book to be indispensable.

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