Igbo Cultures In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

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In Chinua Achebe’s novel “Things Fall Apart” which centers on the struggles of the protagonist Okonkwo when he encounters with the British imposed colonialism on Nigerians opens a new prospective into the life of African tribes. In particular, the novel draws the unique picture of the cultural traditions and values of Igbo society. The interrelation is visible throughout the novel of religion beliefs, language customs and government structure.
The authority of the clan is in the hands of the Oracle of the Hills and Caves and clan elders. The Oracle of the Hills and Caves seems to be a chief authority that directs his orders through his priestess. Interestingly, when Oracle commands Ikemefuna to die no one question that decision even though
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Through language Igbo people resolve their disputes, teach life lessons and pass their knowledge to a younger generations. When an angry neighbor comes to collect Unoka’s debt, he does not ask for a debt right away. Instead, they break kola nut and share palm-wine while discussing unrelated topics. Only after some time, neighbor talks in Igbo proverbs before addressing the debt. “Proverbs are palm-oil with which words are eaten”(Achebe, 7) exemplify peacefulness and highly valuable skill to diffuse some tension before discussing serious matter among Umuofians. It is also a great example of shared and valued oral traditions in times of difficult problem solving. The Igbo tribe presents an oral type of society that has children’s folklore that lives through mothers’ and fathers’ mouths. The story of the tortoise is a one of the examples of unwritten children’s story that Ekwefi tells to Ezinma. Also, Ikemefuna introduces new unheard stories to Nwoye that demonstrates diverse folklore between clans. The violent stories that Okonkwo tells to his son and Ikemefuna are part of shaping the young minds, as Okonkwo thought, from a child to a man. Words are vital to Igbo tribes since they do not know how to read nor write. Through language, Umuofians received their traditions, folklore, believes and rules from their ancestors and so they keep passing on to younger …show more content…
They worship gods of the earth, animals and carved wooden symbols of their personal, chi, gods and ancestral spirits. Igbo tribe finds religion justification in the way they live, harvest and treat ill and less fortunate people. Since farming is the primary source of their food, and so survival, Umuofian people do not bury ill citizens, who suffer from shameful disease “the swellings”(Achebe, 18), to the ground so they would not displease the earth goddess Ani. Instead, the villagers would take their clansmen to the Evil Forest and leave them there to die. Celebrating Week of Peace, before planting, and Feast of the Yam, before harvesting, shows the value and respects that Igbo tribe place in their gods. When Okonkwo beat his youngest wife and disrupts the peace during the sacred Week of Peace he was requested to sacrifice a goat and a hen and pay a fine of one length of cloth and one hundred cowries so earth goddess would not decrease their crops. Disrespect of the gods and ancestral spirits believed to be a great sin that is harshly punishes violator as well as all

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