The Destruction of an African Culture

Topics: Igbo people, Religion, Africa Pages: 3 (954 words) Published: May 4, 2005
Taking a glimpse into the lives of natives from the Ibo society in Africa, including villages such as Umuofia, the high regard which is held for traditions is quite evident. It was a way of life. Religion was something that was taken very seriously, regarded as sacred; it helped define many of their customs. These customs were undoubtedly understood throughout the village, and followed without question. With this kind of structured society the specific outcome for any turn of events was made clear, the future was made certain – until a new religion was unexpectedly introduced by the Europeans. The white man's beliefs flooded the land and changed the course of the forthcoming within their society.

The invasion of this new way of life brought about changes, both positive and negative, to the Ibo culture. After the Europeans learned more about the culture of how the Africans worked, they built up a school and hospital in hopes to educate the people and create potential leaders. Here, both young and old were taught to read and write, and the results were quickly evident. Court messengers, clerks and even teachers arose from the educated. The schools expanded in other regions also bringing with them the church and religion. Since faith was the foundation of their education, those who attended the school were taught the way of the white man, including their beliefs, which helped to spread this new form of religion - Christianity. A certain stability was also derived from this new education. "If Umuofia failed to send her children to the school, strangers would come from other places to rule them." (Achebe, p181) Knowledge gained would help the people protect themselves against any outsiders. It would give them a better understanding on how to defend themselves both physically and as a people. Since they were a culture based almost solely on what was known to them from past experiences, and being unsure of the outside, they would have had no defense...
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