What are some of the fundamental morals of the Igbo community, and how were they reflected by the material culture?Things Fall Apart
The Igbo community of Western Nigeria, as reflected in Chinua Achebe's novel Things Fall Apart, are:
Patriarchal: It is a male-dominated society. Status is defined by the male: titles taken, number of yams farmed, wrestling throws, heads taken in war, number of wives and sons.
Agrarian: The males work hard to produce yams (a male crop). The females work to produce coco-yams, cassavas, and beans (female crops). The men tend their fields, while the women tend to smaller plots and the marketplace.
Communal/Polygamous: Each male with status has many wives, each of which has her own hut and children. The male lives in his own hut at the head of the compound. Male children may live with him once he has passed the initiations into adulthood (age 16-17).
Polytheistic: Although debatable, the complex religion of the Igbo is seen by most Westerners as having many gods. The Igbo make the caveat that there is only one god, Chukwu, and he has many servants, or lesser gods. In light of the Holy Trinity, this should not be a stretch for the British colonialists to understand, but they inevitably see the Igbo as practicing polytheistic paganism.