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Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 605

The beliefs of the Ibo people embraced both the traditional gods of their ancestors, as well as the Christian rituals of the European colonizers. Look over the passages that cover the death and burial of Ezekiel Odia. How do these belief systems work together? Where do they clash?

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Aku-nna and her brother, Nna-nndo, are raised according to their gender. What are the major differences in how their roles are defined? Although gender roles in America might not be as rigidly defined and the differences in raising boys and girls may be very subtle, do you think children in the United States grow up with any restrictions based on gender? List these restrictions, however slight, as they might appear, for instance, in the American home, or in teacher expectations in elementary school, or in relationships between young men and young women in high school.

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Ma Blackie is often caught up in her culture's traditions. However, she is an intelligent woman who has lived in the city and her thoughts differ slightly from the other woman in her village. In what ways does Ma Blackie break, or at least stretch, some of the boundaries imposed on her by her village traditions?

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Latest answer posted March 28, 2007, 10:55 pm (UTC)

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Menstruation signals the emergence of a young girl into womanhood. In The Bride Price a traditional ceremony is performed to honor this transition. In American culture, there is little, if any, celebration of this passing from one stage to the other. If you could create such a ceremony, what elements would you include? Think about this transition as a rite of passage and write a description of such a ceremony. How could you use similar passages (like the metamorphosis of a butterfly) to symbolize change? Do you know of a poem that might be read to honor this transition? What role could men play? How might you use music, dance, and costumes?

There is only slight, overt mention of Europeans and European culture in The Bride Price. However, despite the subtle references, European culture is definitely a strong and intrusive issue in this story of the Ibo people. Find passages that make references to the colonial powers. How are the Ibo people influenced by the European culture? Think in terms of the schools, the churches, and the European laws.

Most of the world is ruled under a system of patriarchy—social organization marked by the supremacy of the male (or father) and the subsequent legal and economic dependency of women and children. The supremacy of the male is defined differently, according to various cultural standards, but the basic tenet remains the same: the male dominates the female. Compare the Ibo cultural standards to American standards. How do they differ? Are there any ways in which the patriarchal rules of the Ibo culture work to the advantage of the Ibo women? Are there any ways in which the Ibo women might have advantages over American women?

The offering (the bride price) that an Ibo male must give the family of his intended bride could be looked at, as well as criticized, as an archaic form of purchasing a woman. However, the American (or European) tradition of buying an expensive diamond ring as a sign of engagement might similarly be looked at, as well as criticized, as another form of purchasing a woman. Are there any differences between the two traditions? What if you compared these traditions from a different point of reference such as Europe in the eighteenth or nineteenth century when arranged marriages were still prominent? What if you compared them in terms of European royalty where marriages were arranged to ensure peace between two countries?

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