Ibo Farming vs. American Farming
- Done by hand
- Common plants include: beans, coco yams, cassava, ocra, and yams
- Ibo tribes depend on spirits and Gods for lucrative crops
- Mostly done with big tractors/machines
- Common plants include: corn, soybean, rice, wheat, grain
- Americans rely on good farming weather and the efficiency of technology
Overall influence of Nature on Ibo Life
- Ibo culture is vastly agriculture based due to the fact that they have limited access to technology
- Religion and nature are closely related
Conservation and use of nature
- The Ibo people believe in using only what they need. - The traditional houses are made out of a wooden frame and bamboo, which are very common to find.
- The Ibo people know exaclty when they must farm, for they split the season into two, one being the dry season and the other the rainy season, which is when the crops are planted. In the book it shows how the men with families are gving a specific acres of land, where they are to start their compound and build their huts and farm, without using any land that wasnt given to them. They also have an Evil Forest where the evil spirits are put along with the supossed evil twins and the children that continued to haunt their mothers by continuing to be reborn and dying, in this forest the Ibo people are not aloud to use any of the resources because they are suposedly cursed, and bring death.
- Ifejioku- the goddess of yams
- Alusi- Gods and goddesses of the earth (they are the earth)
- Amadioha- God of free will and the sun
- Ala- goddess of the earth (she is the ground and soil)
- Igwe- God of the sky (produces rain to feed the earth)- Ala’s husband-
- Njoku Ji- guardian of yams (worshipped with Ifejioku)
- Agwu Nsi- God of good and evil, health and sickness, wealth and poverty, and fortune and misfortune.
- Ekwensu- God of war. (called upon during conflict and banished during peace)
Alusi are gods and goddesses of nature and make up all portions of the earth including the ground and the sky. There are Alusi of different crops and happenings in the world according to ibo culture. They govern the tribe’s actions like they do the natural order of nature. The ibo tribe consider themselves ruled by the Alusi and have them make the decisions such as going to war, sacrifice, and telling prophecies through the use of an oracle. The ibo people also participate in rituals to insure that the Alusi will cooperate with the people. Rituals such as the week of peace are practiced to cleanse the spirits of the people in order to appease the Alusi so that they grant the tribe a clean and pure harvest. Locusts also play a large role in ibo culture they are released every 4 months and are a delicacy to the ibo people. They locust are celebrated and eaten by all members of the tribe they are considered a gift from the Alusi.
Nature Appreciative Festivals
Yam Festivals are popular holiday in Nigeria, and are usually held in the beginning of August at the end of the rainy season. It is named after yams, the most common food in many African countries.
- Dancers wear masks that reflect the seasons or other aspects of nature.
- People offer yams to gods and ancestors before distributing them to the villagers to give thanks to the spirits above them.
- Leboku is the name for the annual New Yam Festival celebrated in Ugep, Nigeria, one of the five settlements of Yakurr, to honor of the earth goddess and the ancestral spirits of the land.
- Masqueraders from across Igboland and from other states in Nigeria dance and give acrobatic displays, wearing unique and colorful costumes.
- In the Igbo tradition, masquerades are thought to be reincarnated dead ancestors, with supernatural powers.
In Things Fall Apart there are several festivals such as after the Week of Peace which honors the new planting season. It appreciates nature and gets the people of Umofia to celebrate and prepare for a new and prosperous planting season filling he village thriving music, food, masqueraders, and wrestling matches within the men.
Methods of Ibo Farming
The Ibo people have a specific time they do their farming which is during the rainy season (one of their two seasons). Since they do not have modern technology they do their farming the old fashion way, by hand.
- Women and Men have specific crops they need to plant. The men primarily plant the yam which to them is the man crop, the women then plant whatever else where their is space left when the man is done. In the book Oknokwo is shown planting the yams while his wives and kids assist him, but don’t do much of the actual planting.
- Because they don’t have modern tools, the Ibo people tend to use the power of religion by doing offerings and sacrifices to the gods, specifically Ani because he is the owner of all land, in order to ensure a healthy farming season. They do celebrations in order to show thanks for the harvest and the coming of the New Yam.