The Ibo Way of Life

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Things Fall Apart, a novel by African native Chinua Achebe, introduces an unusual culture to the reader. He shares a strange new way of life not customary to popular beliefs. Through a detailed description of the Ibo culture such as role, political ideologies and unique rituals, Achebe shows humanity in a different perspective.

Ibo culture is a completely male dominated tribe. By being a successful warrior and farmer, men gain respect and high titles. Unfortunately, women do not have those opportunities and are considered more as property than human beings. In the first chapter, we meet Okonkwo, a highly respected leader. He has three wives who share only him as a husband. When a woman is old enough to marry, her family must approve the suitor, and then she is purchased with cowries and other livestock. The woman's duties after marriage is to stay at home to cook, clean and raise the children.

As seen by roles each play in this tribe, it is obvious that the Ibo's political ideologies are purely masculine and violently led. Villages will sacrifice other members of their village when a debt is owed, not knowing what is to become of them. In Ikemefuma's case, he is sacrificed to the Umuofia tribe and is to live there for three years. When his three years are through with, he is violently murdered as ordered by the village elders. The boy stayed in Okonkwo's Obi and learned to call him father. Okonkwo still took part in his violent murder. Other punishments of the tribe are hanging and banishment.

One of the most unique things about the Ibo cultures id their superstitions. It is believed that if a woman has two or more miscarriages that her children all share the same spirit. To keep this child from dying, they must find this child's rock or mutilate the child's body. Another superstition deals with the kola nut. The kola nut was broken and eaten every meal and was said to bring good life to people.

Although the Ibo culture has some unusual...
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