Sims 1

Emily Sims LIT 234 Mrs. Jones 14 June 2012 African Cultural Beliefs The African culture has been around for thousands of years. This culture was first started by the first tribe to settle in Africa, the Bushmen. A lot of the culture that was first started the Bushmen tribe is still around today. Most of the tribes still have pray, folktales, and many traditions, that date back to the Bushmen. The Ibo clan is actually a real clan that is located in Nigeria. If we know some of the cultural beliefs before we read “Things Fall Apart” we can better understand many of the things they do in this story. One of the people’s cultural beliefs in Africa is that every person has their own personal god or chi a person’s chi is brought up several times in Thing Fall Apart. On page 27 it states “That was not luck. At the most one could say his chi or personal god was good. But the Ibo people have a proverb that when a man says yes his chi says yes also.” This quote is very important to the story. It shows how strong the Ibo people believe in their chi they believe that it affect ones success or failure. When people do not have a good life they believe that their personal god is not good to him or that he is weak. Unoka, Okonkwo’s father, was said to be a weak man. He had no titles, was very lazy, and was given the name agbala. This word men’s he was a woman or simply a man without titles, It states on page 18 “ He had a bad or personal god, and evil fortune followed him to the grave, or rather to his death, for he had no grave”. This shows how strongly ones chi can affect their life. Since Unoka’s chi was bad he suffered a bad life and died in debt, with no yams or anything for his son Okonkwo to inherit.

Sims 2

When Okonkwo was grown he had many farms and crops. In the book there was a time when rain did not come. When the rain does come in the book it is considered a blessing from the gods. Thousands of years ago when the Bushmen settled they started the tradition of praying for rain. They have many dances and rituals that they use to consult with their gods to see what needs to be done to get rain, food, or drive out evil spirits. Page 23 states that Okonkwo “He changed them every day and prayed that the rain might fall in the night”. Praying to gods for the things they desire is huge part of this culture. Besides pray this culture is also very religious. They believe in many gods and have priest and priestess, and medicine men. All of these things are in the real tribe as they are in the story. An example is on page 77 “When your wife becomes pregnant again,” he said, “let her not sleep in her hut. Let her go and stay with her people. In that way she will elude her wicked tormentor and break its evil cycle of birth and death.” This is when Okonkwo calls in a medicine man to help cure his wife and prevent death. They do not take the wife to hospitals or believe that maybe she can’t have children. In this culture they simply believe in to be an evil spirit. These groups of people worship their gods and try to please them with sacrifices. Anytime something bad is done they believe it to be a greatly evil or crime against the gods. “The evil you have done can ruin the whole clan. The earth goddess whom you have insulted may refuse to give us her increase, and we shall all perish.”Pg 30. This is the point in the story which is greatly important culture wise. Okonkwo has beaten his wife on the week and has to consult with the priest. They clearly believe strongly that if their gods are upset with them they may kill their whole clan. This can be related to our view of if we upset god then he will not bless us or our family.

Sims 3

If we know all of these things that before we read this story it would enable us to know why there are so many rituals, events, and practices that we may not understand. A lot of their rituals they practice can be related to Christianity to an extreme. We may not believe in chi, or medicine men but we do believe in doctors and angels. Being able to find this similarities in this story we help you be able to analysis it easier. What I found in my research was very interesting and even helped to understand some of the customs that come up in this book.

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