What rumors are being spread throughout the villages about the white man in Things Fall Apart?

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dymatsuoka | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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The rumor being spread among the villages is that the Igbos of Abame have been wiped out. Apparently, a white man "had appeared in their clan" during the previous planting season. The white man had been riding an iron horse. The elders had consulted their Oracle about the strange visitor, and the Oracle had said that the man "would break their clan and spread destruction among them." Consequently, the tribe killed the white man and tied his iron horse to their sacred tree so that it would not run away. Before they killed him, the white man had said nothing, according to some people. Others said that he did say something, but no one could understand him, as "he seemed to speak through his nose." Still other people claimed that the white man "repeated over and over again a word that resemble Mbaino." Whatever the case, the man was killed, and his iron horse tied to a tree, and for a long time, nothing further happened.

After some time had passed, three white men came to the clan and saw the iron horse. They went away, and again, for a long time, nothing happened. Then one day, when the market was crowded, the three white men returned with "a very large number of other men," and they began to shoot. Almost everyone in the village was killed.

The rumors circulating about the demise of Abame say that the clan is now completely empty, and that the fish have fled from the lake and the lake has turned red, like blood. According to the information being passed around the villages, white men who make "powerful guns and...strong drinks" have come to take slaves away across the sea, but most of the tribesmen do not believe the stories are true. Some of the Igbo wonder, however, about the few albinos who live among them; perhaps they have come to their land by mistake, and have "strayed from their way to a land where everybody is like them" (Chapter15).

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