Post-Colonial Ibo Culture
1914: Nigeria was known as “Colonial Nigeria” and was mostly controlled by the British
The country was divided into 3 different regions: Northern, Eastern and Western
New forms of constitution and politics were developed
Ibos people were being bought and used as slaves
1950s-1960s: Nigeria finally won its independence from England
Festivals/ Holidays of the Ibo Culture
Means for peace and order and primarily used as law enforcement agents
They would expose bad habits, crimes or misbehaviors of individuals
Colorful robes and masks
Held in accordance with community native calendars
Associated with spiritual elements representing deities or dead relatives
Colonist Festivals and Holidays
The British had much control over many aspects of the Igbo tribe including culture, regions, and religion. The British brought over their own festivals and holidays, much which include many of our own festivals and holidays. Some of these festivals and holidays are as follows:
- Valentine's Day
- Candlemas Day/ Feb. 2
This day marks the middle of the winter season - from the shortest day of the year to the Spring Equinox. This day also celebrates the cleansing of Mary.
- St. George's Day (England's National Day)/ Apr. 23
Celebrating with parades, some people celebrate St. George who is said to have defeated a dragon. The day is celebrated with parades and parties and flags with "St. George's Cross" are flown.
- May Day - May. 1
This day is celebrated beautifully with may poles and flowers. It is traditionally a celebration of spring and fertility.
- Notting Hill Carnival - August
On this day, there is a street festival that millions go to see and participate in every year. The parade include colorful floats, bands and many other attractions.
Before and After: Masquerades
In the precolonial times, only men wore the masks
Masks represented dead wives and maidens
If you broke the tradition you were publically humiliated and they would tell you what your bad habits were
Are mostly just celebration for entertainment
Are used for tourist attraction
Now the masks represents the spirits of the dead
How does this relate to the text?
The novel, “Things Fall Apart”, takes place in Nigeria around the turn of the 19th century. Around this time, Europeans began to invade Nigeria and influence the way that Nigerian tribes lived. In the novel, Okonkwo experiences the pre- and post- European imperialism which allows the reader to see how the Ibo tribe acted before and after British control. Throughout the novel, we see many examples of the holidays and festivals that the Ibo people celebrated and participated in, and how they changed due to British colonization. For example, the book talks about how Okonkwo and his family participated in the Weak of Peace, New Yam Festival and Feast, and ceremonial masquerades.