Monday, 10 October 2016

Things Fall Apart Background

Political Context

Approval of the entire clan is necessary before any major decision is made.
Egwugwu, the representative of the ancestral spirits, are integral in administering tribal justice.
Ndichie, the elders of the village, have a place of honour in the clan and their advice is respected.
The priests get their power from the Oracle, and their decisions are never questioned.

Religious Context

Ordinary people gain access to the gods through the Oracle.
The gods do not show themselves physically, but speak through the priests or priestesses.
The ancestors, embodied physically in the egwugwu, are revered.
There is the belief that the ogbanje, or spirit child, returns to plague its mother, ensuring that all her children die.
Twins are taboo and placed in the 'evil forest'.
The concept of the chi, or a person's identity in the spirit land, is important in Igbo religious beliefs.
A good chi can mean success, while a bad chi can mean misfortune.


Economic Context

Sharecropping provides a financial base for young men who do not inherit a barn from their fathers, or are simply in a financial crises.
Cowrie shells are the medium of exchange.
The family unit provides the basis for economic success.
Each individual, even the children, has a specialized role that contributes to the family's

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