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Okonkwo has to seek refuge at his motherland because he accidentally fired a gun in an important event with all the heads of th village. It is considered a crime and he has to be sent back to his motherland.
Okonkwo has no choice but to seek refuge in his motherland. In Things Fall Apart we learn that in Ibo society, when a woman marries, she goes to her husband's family and resides with them. Thus Okonkwo lives in his father's village. When he is exiled from his fatherland, he is forced to return to his motherland and live there for seven years. His mother's family receives him and provides a place for he and his family to live. But he isn't allowed to take much with him and has to leave all of his seed yams behind. We learn in the book that a man's wealth relies heavily on the number of yams he has and grows, so Okonkow's masculinity is greatly reduced in his exile through his forceable domicilary with his mother's family and the loss of his yam stores.
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