Presentation on theme: "The Igbo Family: The Center of Village Life"— Presentation transcript:
1 The Igbo Family: The Center of Village Life Nick ChappelleCourtney SampsonChris JordanGerald MunozChristopher Excellent
2 The Importance of Family in the Igbo tribe As a western civilization, we are accustomed to families having significance in societyFor example, in Britain there is a noble familyIs this present in Igbo society???Let us take a look!
3 The place of family within the tribe Unlike many other peoples, the Igbo people do not pay special recognition to familiesNo family possesses any special privileges or nobilitNo matter how many titles a father holds, his family never gains special importanceElders rule not families
4 Polygamy Polygamy is a practice found in many different cultures Someone who practices polygamy takes more than spousePolygamy was practiced in Igbo societyIt had a big influence on the family rankingLet us take a look!
5 Igbo Family Structure Igbo families generally live in compounds. Compounds are tiny clusters of huts built in the same area.Groups of compounds are what make up a village.
6 Igbo Family StructureCompounds contained one domestic group, or family.The head of a compound in a village is generally the oldest male of the compound.The head of each compound is responsible for each of its members.
7 Marriage and Polygamy in the Village In an Igbo village, married life is the normal condition for adults.Polygamy is very ideal for the men in the village.Polygamy is also an important indication of status.
8 Marriage and Polygamy in the Village The wives of the common husband were ranked in the order in which they were married.The children of the wives were also ranked according to their mother’s rank, as well as their seniority in age.
9 Seniority in Age in the Village In the Igbo village, seniority in age regulates social placement in the village.In the family, being the oldest child brings great responsibility, as well as important social positions in the family.
10 The role of familyNow that we have an idea of how the family is structured, let us look at the family and the roles of different membersAll family structures have designated roles for the different membersLet us take a look!
11 Ibo Family Family is extremely important Nuclear Family- man, women, and childrenExtended family- not very importantMarried life is normal conditionPolygamy is ideal for men. It can be considered a sign of status in the tribe
12 Role of Men The oldest man was the head of each household Responsible for all the members in his householdResponsibilities include: Settling family disputesControlling the communication with the ancestorsBuilding his obi and huts for wives
13 Wives Ranked according to order in which they married the husband Were responsible for:Giving birth to many sonsYounger wives were expected to help older wivesCaring for children and head of houseAs wives aged, they spent more time outside the household ( farming, craft making)
14 Children Required to be obedient to all adults Never contradict parentsChildren are not equalSons & daughters are ranked with the wives(i.e.) first son of first wife is highest
15 Extended FamilyGrandparents, uncles, aunts, nephews, and nieces, and in- lawsAlways welcome to unannounced visits to the nuclear familyExtended family is created upon marriageExpected to gives a bride- price to bride’s family upon UnionLose importance after marriage
16 The rise from child to adult Many societies, if not all, have a coming of age ceremonyWhat is a coming of age ceremony?A coming of age ceremony is a celebration, often times involving the person celebrated to do something in specific, where the boy or girl rises to adult hood. This rise from childhood to adulthood is very important in Igbo societyLet us take a look!
17 Rite of passageBefore you are considered even a part of the Igbo people you must go through a rite of passageIn Igbo society you are incorporated once you are circumcisedFemale circumcision: cutting of clitoral hood (only type of “mutilation” considered to be circumcision)Male circumcision: the foreskin is removedWelcome to Igbo society!
18 Coming of Age IBefore colonialism destroyed this aspect of culture, it was a huge celebrationThe initiates, typically young girls, would be primped up (washed with red cam wood, adorned with jewelry, and their hair would be plaited)The mothers would teach them the facts of life and tell them what it meant to be beautiful (unfortunately, what it did mean has been lost to history)The young girls would then go into the Village Square and would partake in the following: wrestling, preparing meals, trading tips, sharing meals, and having a good timeBachelors would watch the festivities and soon after marriage would be in orderThe actual coming of age ceremony for young males has been forgotten thanks to colonialism
19 Coming of Age II Today, there is still a ceremony for the Igbo people Young male initiates spend a night with the Oto Umunne fathersYoung female initiates spend a night with Oto Umunne mothersThey are taught what the Igbo community expects of them and to understand how to make sound moral decisions
20 An Igbo Coming of Age Prayer “We now send them into the world of freedom with the light of God. As we light the candles, we ask the Almighty Chukwu to guide and protect our young ones as they venture into the world. The only gifts we can offer them are our love and support. Their response is their pledge to conduct themselves in such a manner that will command respect for them, their families abroad in Igbo land, Nigeria, and to the American community in which they are a part. Most importantly, they pledge to conduct themselves in such a manner that gives glory to God.”
21 Ceremonies for other parts of life As we know, the Igbo people choose a role in their society and the roles are celebratedIru-mgbede (fattening of a girl before marriage): the woman is seperated from household (symbolizing change in marital status), the women is fed under the belief that you must be healthy to bear healthy children, and they are seperated for a month from their spouse so that they may refresh themselves emotionally, physically, and intellectuallyItu Anya (the initiation of a Diviner): the initiation lasts eight days and introduces adolescents to the world of men and gives them the power to communicate with spirits (typically for adolescent males)Igba Mgba (wrestling): wrestling is a special priviledge which allows a person to engage in a fight with an opponent. One becomes a warrior by winning a wrestling match. “The Igbo believe a man should fight with aggressors, human or spiritual, to the best of his ability. In igbo land, a man is said to be a man when he efficiently and effectively handles trying situations.”
22 The Igbo culture withing the novel, Things Fall Apart The novel was written in order to teach readers about the Igbo peopleIt is obvious that something as important as family to the Igbo people must be addressed in the novelLet us take a look!
23 Family Structure and its relevance It is clear in the novel that the family is organizedOkonkwo is the head of the householdHis wives are ranked in importance and this impacts how he treats his childrenNwoye, being the first son, must inherit many responsibilities and the family nameTabboo to custom: Ezinma is the daughter of Ekweki, Okonkwo’s second wife, and is given special attention
24 The roles of family members and its relevance Family members live up to their expectations in the novelOkonkwo is the head of the householdOkonkwo’s wives raised the children and fufilled role as house wifeNwoye is expected by Okonkwo to be the greatest of his sons and to truly inherit his name and live it outEzinma is expected to be a young woman and act as so, so that she can be married
25 Polygamy and its relevance Polygamy is practiced in the novelOkonkwo has three wivesRecall that the amount of wives you have says something about your statusWith the above point in mind, Nwakibie, the man who lent Okonkwo yams, had many wivesUnoka, Okonkwo’s father, had one wife
26 Coming of age and its relevance Coming of age celebrations are not mentioned in the novelSome rites of passage are mentioned though, such as marriage (Obireika’s daughter was married) and wrestling (Obireika’s son won the match and received much praise)
27 The place of family in the tribe and its relevance As we can see in the novel, no family is given higher recognition than othersThere is no sign of any family having more say or power than othersThe council rules societyNo matter how powerful the father may be, his family is not given special recognition within the tribe
28 BibliographyAchebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. Evanston: McDougall. 2002Robinson, B.A. “Religious Tolerance” Tolerance.” June 06, 2004.