When it comes to sitting at the table, younger Yoruba devotees should not start eating until older and higher-ranking religious do so.
This is part of the ethical protocol and rules of life in the ways of the Cult of Ifá and the Orisha, a way of complying with one of the most valuable and sacred precepts of religion, respect for the elderly.
In various teachings of the religion it is explained that African religious expressions constitute the cults of kings and princes, because their devotees descended from them and inherited their legacy, in addition, all the Orishas have ways of reign.
For this reason, the same conditions apply at the table as when African royalty sat down to taste their food.
Why is the table "touched"? Respect for the Elderly
When all the diners are seated, the table is “touched” twice:
- To start eating.
- To leave the table.
Touching the table to start eating also has to do with respect for the elderly and the hierarchy as we explained.
Then, after the ringing, they begin to eat when the highest in the hierarchy or age of consecration, among those present, gives the signal, a brief and dry knock on the table.
No one should start eating until the senior at the table gives the signal.
The table is also banged to get up when everyone has finished. Then, the people rise equally when the highest in hierarchy gives the signal, by means of another similar blow.
If any of those present must leave the table before, as a sign of respect, they will request permission to do so by means of a sharp and brief blow on the table and will wait for the response of the person of greater age or hierarchy, which will be given to them accordingly. the same way, quickly.
When finished, the dishes are left on the table...
It is also a tradition among Yoruba devotees, at the end of the meal, they leave the dishes on the table and then the diners leave.
It is written that the dishes should not be picked up by the same people when getting up and the activity of removing the service is left to others.
In religion, this protocol must be respected, even if the people at the table are consecrated and do not have high hierarchy, because it is a ritual that reaffirms the intention of reaching hierarchy one day.
Even if the person is eating alone, because there is no one else in the house, they must follow the rite to honor the Tradition and Spirituality of Ifá.
In other words, the lone diner will hit the table, get up and do anything, and then remove the service. Norms and rules that must be maintained in the Yoruba religion to follow the teachings of the Osha properly and maintain the religious legacy of the ancestors.