Why does the most "potent magic" in Ibo culture come from women? I was thinking along the lines of what it says about the old women, but I'm not all too sure. 

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slcollins eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This serves as a reference to the fact that, even though the society is decidedly misogynistic, the women are highly revered in Ibo culture. Two strong supports of this idea are their praying to and serving Ani, the earth goddess, and the Priestess of the Oracle. Both of these women are held in high regard by the entire Ibo society. No one seems to question the fact that these women figures are worshipped and revered. Another strong point that supports this idea is the exile of Okonkwo to his motherland. His exile to Mbanta, where he is surrounded by his mother’s family, is supposed to help him learn the importance of women and mothers in his culture. He, unfortunately, fails to do so. Through this aspect of the Ibo culture, Achebe shows us that an interesting paradox exists; the Ibo revere some women and degrade many others. This is just one of the paradoxes that leads to the downfall of the Ibo society.

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Things Fall Apart

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