Galaxy of Thoughts

Mental journies shuttling between utopia, dystopia and bordering paranoia.

10 Apr 2020

Arrow of God by Chinua Achebe


The colonialists have been in the region with Ibo people for sometime now. They are setting up government buildings in Ibo land after creating similar structures and head quarters in delta of the Niger river.

The people of Umuonora a collection of six villages which united to from the unprecedented events of that happened a couple of generations ago. Now they have one Chief Priest of Ulu, who is the messenger and has direct communication with the god.

Ezuele is the current chief priest, having to see his reign being affected by the white man. White British colonialist. Though he has favor with the Captain one captain Wintabata whose actual name is Captain Winterbottom.

Dynamics are changing in the villages, some of the villagers are already working for the white man. People are slowly moving to the white mans religion and with this getting to speak and write their language.

The effect on cultural practices are being threatened. This is the beginning of the end of practices that have been there with the culture for many generations.

My thoughts

Am interested in how the cultural aspects of past African communities. The use of proverbs in speech is so profound. Everything has a proverb that can be related with. Especially when the elderly are speaking to each other or giving advice. Some of the proverbs for sure will be lot with the coming generation. Am not sure I here any proverbs any more being used, maybe because of my detachment with rural places and not speaking my mother tongue fluently.

Polygamy and how it was practiced is very fascinating. With the protagonist having three wives and each wife having her own house. The Chief Ezuele has his own house as well obi. Each wife has specified day to cook for the husband to avoid conflict, am not sure but this is also the time they get to connect and talk. Each individual child is raised by the mother and is housed in the mothers house. Roles of each wife is clear cut, whether there is communication between the wives seems to be to bear necessities. Each is concerned with their individual household.

The children seem to be more closer to each other breaking through step relations easy. Though their choices might be curtailed by their biological mother.

Interplay of polygamy in African culture seemed to have had very intricate intertwined roles and rules governing the institution.