Yoruba people use words to paint convincingly sharp pictures.

When surprised, they call it “ìyàlẹ́nu.”

It means “mouth-opening,” or jaw-dropping.

You say, “Ó yà mí lẹ́nu láti gbọ́ pé ….: It opened my mouth to learn that ….”

It, therefore, opened my mouth this afternoon.: someone likes the new Yoruba alphabet that I have designed.

She, therefore, commissioned me to do a large mural with these alphabets.The mural is for a healing sanctuary in Boston, MA.

The message of the alphabet must be spiritual.I decided to write these lines:

“Before the birth of time, even before the beginning of life, before the existence of place, before anything known or unknown, visible, invisible or nonvisible, was Eledumare who presided over fellow divinities known as the pantheon of Orìṣà. Also known as Olú Ọ̀run, Olódùmarè, Elédùmarè Ọlọ́run, Ọlófin, Aṣẹ̀dá, Ẹlédàá, Atẹ́rẹrẹkáríayé, Akin Ọ̀run, and a host of other four hundred and one names and aliases remembered or forgotten, Elédùmarè and the Orìṣà are immortal.”

The words are the opening lines of my manuscript called “Oju Ewe: Yoruba Sacred Letters.”

It is akin to Yoruba indigenous “Bible,” written from Yoruba history and tradition.

I will translate the English passage into Yoruba.

Then I will rewrite the Yoruba translation using the new Yoruba alphabet.

Finally I will paint the product into the large mural format for my client.

It must all be done by December this year!

As they say in Yoruba, “The fellow who jumps us has already begun to dance: Ẹní fò sókè bẹ́ ijó lórí.”

In transliteration, it is more colorful and graphic: it goes,

“The person who jumps up has already decapitated the dance.”

We already beheaded the dance: A ti bẹ́jó lórí.

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