What Is The Relationship Between Nigeria Culture And American Culture

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Destany Trujillo
Wren Scott
AP Literature & Composition
24 January 2017
Chinua Achebe’s Nigerian Culture Nigeria has always had extremely different traditions and culture than the United States. As Chinua Achebe described in his book, the native Igbo were treated like savages by the white missionaries who settled on their land. Women were lower than men in class. Wealth determined the status of many men in the villages. Religion at the time was changing and evolving into a more modern and Christian belief. Things Fall Apart, set in the 1890s, displays many scenes showing the culture of the time, such as race relations, religion, ceremonies, gender roles, and other cultural distinctions that Achebe faced as part of the Ibo tribe. Chinua
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Beginning in 1807, the British were set on abolishing slave trade, and they confronted Nigeria on the subject (Culture of Nigeria - History, People, Clothing, Traditions, Women, Beliefs, Food, Customs, Family). Problems began to emerge between the two countries. Colonies were established in Nigeria and missionaries were being sent to convert the native tribes. This caused the tense relations between the natives and the men from Britain. Most missionaries sent, like Reverend James Smith in Achebe’s novel, were insensitive to the culture and traditions of the Ibo tribe. They beat the natives and openly disrespected the gods and shrines of the Ibo people. As many members of the villages turned to the unfamiliar religion, those who wanted the indigenous religion to stay felt as though their tribe was being stolen from them, and they became angry. This is described by Achebe in Things Fall Apart when Obierika says “he has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart” (176). The tribes were being split by indecision, and all the while being treated like everything they believed was a sin. They way the white missionaries were regarding them caused anger and hate in the native people. This unfortunately lead to many deaths of the…show more content…
One man in Things Fall Apart gives an insight to who the Ibo believed in by asking, “which is this god of yours, the goddess of the earth, the god of the sky, Amadiora or the thunderbolt, or what?” (146). This question shows that they believe in many deities. Although they believe in several deities, they only believe in one god (Igbo). The deities were represented by human priestesses and the egwugwu. The egwugwu were nine masked men who represented the villages and were supposedly spirits (Achebe 88). When a problem arose, the villages consulted with the priestesses and egwugwu to find a solution. Both entities were revered in the villages and were a human rendition of the beings of the Igbo
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