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THINGS FALL APART - table of Ibo phrases and proverbs

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ENGLISH HL - THINGS FALL APART IBO WORD OR PHRASE DEFINITION SIGNIFICANCE Egwugwu A masquerader who impersonates one of the ancestral spirits in the village. The egwug wu were the lords of the clan. They administered justice, settled cases and they emerged during annual ceremonies to honour deities as well. Umuofia Kwenu Words spoken before an orator begins to address the Umuofian clan so as to gain their attention. Orators silenced the members of the clan and made their speeches after this phrase. Its response - "yaaa" symbolized Umuofian unity and strength. Agadi-nwayi An old woman A sign of respect. They never fought a war of blame. Ndichie Elders of the Umuofian clan. The elders were respected and were the messengers of the Ibo oral literature (Proverbs, songs and riddles). Their proverbs and myths give meaning and reason to events in the book. Agbala A woman or a man who hasn't earned a title during his life spent with the clan. Su h a man had was not respected in society. Brings out the notion of meritocracy in the book. Obi The large living quarters of the members of a family. The obi is where the patriarch ate his meals, where the family came together to converse, where visitors and marriage proposals would be entertained. ...read more.


Through festivals they bestowed honour upon and showed respect to the gods and goddesses of the Ibo tribe. These included Ani the Earth Goddess, Amadiora, The Oracle of the Hills and the Caves and so on. Superstition and Punishment The Ibo society was highly superstitious. Diseases and deaths during the Week of Peace, bearing twins, Ogbanje, committing suicide, killing the royal python and unmasking an egwugwu in public were considered abominations. There was no rationality behind these concepts, it was mere superstition. Society was also superstitious about the "Evil Forest"- believed to house evil spirits and offenders were left to die here. Other concepts 1) In the Ibo culture, time intervals were measured in terms of moons and market weeks. 2) The Ibo tribes were war-like. There were several inter-tribal and inter-clan wars. 3) A bride-price was an important criterion for marriages within the community. ORAL ELEMENTS OF IBO CULTURE LOCATION RELEVANCE PROVERBS The sun will shine on those who stand before it shines on those who kneel under them. Pg 7-8 This proverb is used in relevance with the debts of Unoka, Okonkwo's father. It means that major events should be prioritized, as in, Unoka would cover his major debts before he could fulfil the minor ones. If a child washed his hands, he could eat with the kings. Pg. 8 Its relevance lies in bringing out the importance of achievement among the Ibo clansmen. ...read more.


It brings out the Umuofian spirit and the concept of hero-worship. Only the powerful were respected in Umuofia. "Eze elina, elina!....Sala" Pg. 60 Sung by Ikemefuna to discern whether his mother would be alive or not. While it emphasises the importance of songs in the Ibo culture, it also brings out the superstition that prevailed in society. "If I hold her hand...she pretends not to know." Pg. 118-119 Brings out a sense of joy and festivity during the Marriage of Obierika's daughter. Songs and dances formed an important part of Ibo celebrations. Its lyrics bring out a touch of light-hearted humour. "For whom is it well...well." Pg. 135 Throws light on the importance of the Mother figure who is often neglected in the Ibo society. NO good ever comes out of a woman's death because a mother symbolises softness, gentleness and comfort. Its purpose is to make Okonkwo appreciative and proud to be in his motherland. "Kotma of the ash buttocks... slave." Pg. 175 Sung in mockery of the Whiteman. It is a symbol of the post-colonial concept of resistance. The Whiteman was despised early on when he entered Umuofia. He was disregarded and mocked SOUNDS "Agbalaa do-o-o" Throughout Ch. 11 Highlights state of consciousness when the priestess of a goddess is possessed - the insanity, the loudness and absolute lack of control. Go-di-di-go-go-di-go. Pg. 120 Beats of the ekwe or drum signalling Ezeudu's death. ?? ?? ?? ?? ENGLISH HL1 GRADE XI AAKASH PAREKH 12.04.2009 Page | 1 ...read more.

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