I have talked with several Áwo, Santeros (Babalorìsàs), Santeras (Iyalorìsàs) and with other people in general who practice the Yoruba religion, and there are many doubts regarding this issue.
Firstly, I want to express that my main objective and intention is to inform and not to create discrepancies or doubts about this topic when I explain that it is NOT important or legitimate to receive Kuanaldo, Knife or Pinaldo, as you may know it. It is not necessary to have Kuanaldo to make a sacrifice to any Orisha; if you have been initiated in any Orisha, and if you have the knowledge to make Ebo (sacrifice), you may do it. I will further explain this issue in the following paragraphs.
It is important that you understand that if you practice the Yoruba religion as Babalorìsàs (Santero), Iyalorìsàs (Santera), Áwo or Babaláwo, you are authorized to make sacrifices to your Orishas according to Ifá´s recommendations. You do not need the Knife or Kuanaldo ceremony. Want to know why? Because such ceremony does NOT exist in the Yoruba religion, and it is not legitimate or acknowledged within the Yoruba tradition. Nevertheless, the Afro-Cuban system does acknowledge it and this is the cause of the discrepancy. This religion comes from a people with its own culture and traditions, the Yoruban people still live in their land which is located in southwestern Africa in a country called Nigeria.
Around the year 1517, this religion traveled with the slaves from cities like Osogbo, Ògún, Igbo, Ketu and Oyó to countries like Cuba and Brazil, among others. Then, where does the ceremony come from if it is not observed by the Yoruban people? Who came from the Irunmole to the earth to speak about this ceremony? My suggestion in this case is that if you believe in the Yoruba religion, in its roots and absolute essence, disregard the need to be subjected to the Knife (Kuanaldo) ceremony or to your Oluwo (godfather) because in reality, you do not need to be.
On the other hand, this is included in the Afro-Cuban system, but not so in the traditional Yoruba religion which is a confirmation before Olofín that you have been initiated in a certain Orisha or Ifá. This is the moment to grant you the power and right to make offerings or sacrifices (Ebo) of four-legged animals and your right to be free and unleashed yourself from your godfather.
I also want to explain to you that the Yoruba religion, as monotheist, establishes only one source of creation and it believes in Olorun, the only and absolute creator who is indecipherable and infinite, going beyond what can be seen. Then we have Olodumare (God) who is the source of life. Olofín was just a king in the Yoruba land and a supervisor of the creation. Do you think you have anything to confirm before Olofín?
In my opinion, the idea of making initiates or devotees believe that they have to perform Kuanaldo to make sacrifices and to stay attached to the Padrino (Godfather) is intended to keep disciples or followers close. This generates an absolute dependence on the Godfathers as if there was a real bond or the ceremony would grant such power, but this is not true.
Summarizing, when you perform Itefá (Ifá) or you are initiated in Sàngó, Yemoja, Òsun, Elegbara, etc, you can legitimately make sacrifices to any of your Orishas; you just need to have the necessary knowledge. As I have said above, I just want to let you know that you are free to decide whether you follow the Yoruba tradition or the Afro-Cuban approach. May Ifá bless you all!