Pre and Post Colonial Nigeria By

Nigeria is a region with a really unique culture. It has a traditional African mixed in with modern European. This region has really change through out the years from when our book things fall apart takes place ( 19th century ) to till 1960 ( when it gain its Independence from the British). Nigeria has changed in a lot of ways and will be talking about how it's religion and gender roles have changed, during pre colonial and post colonial eras

Pre Colonial Religion: In our book Things Fall Apart ,Achebe ( author ) describes their religion in through the life of the people of Umuofia

"Umuofia it should be recorded that it never went to war unless its case was clear and just and was accepted as such by its Oracle – the Oracle of the Hills and the Caves. And there were indeed occasions when the Oracle had forbidden Umuofia to wage a war. If the clan had disobeyed the Oracle they would surely have been beaten, because their dreaded agadi-nwayi would never fight what the Ibo call a fight of blame". (Achebe 12) This quote explains that The Umuofia people see the Oracle as a way to communicate to their gods. They see it as a way of making big decisions by first consulting the gods via the Oracle. They value what their God's say very highly to the point of whether or not deciding to go to war

"The Feast of the New Yam was approaching and Umuofia was in a festival mood. It was an occasion for giving thanks to Ani, the earth goddess and the source of all fertility. Ani played a greater part in the life of the people than any other deity. She was the ultimate judge of morality and conduct. And what was more, she was in close communion with the departed father of the clan whose bodies had been committed to the earth". ( Achebe 36) This quote shows one of their many festivals to one of their gods. They celebrate and thank the god ani for good harvest. It also shows that they are polytheistic since they thank the sun and earth gods

The Igbo tribe is a very religious tribe that are polytheism which means they believe in many gods. They see men as being superior over women. They believe in having the ability to communicate to their God through the use of the oracle. In their tribe it is important to have good chi because they believe that their gods while punish them if they do bad.

The People of Nigeria had a strong Beliefs in their religion and it took the British a lot of power to change their beliefs

Post colonial Religion:

"At the beginning of the 20th century, most Nigerians were followers of traditional religions, but British colonial policies discouraged this to such an extent that by the time of independence in 1960 the great majority of the people were classified as Muslims or Christians. At the beginning of the 21st century, more than two-fifths of the population was Muslim, slightly less than that was Christian, and about one-tenth claimed to follow traditional religions".(Krik 1)

As they gained their Independence some of them went back to the old ways like religion or even Incorporated some of their old ways into the new religion

"A growing number of breakaway Christian churches, which embrace indigenous cultural traditions, are gaining popularity—a development perceived as a threat by the older established churches. The breakaway Christian churches often include drumming and dancing in their services, a practice since adopted by the established churches in an attempt to avoid losing members"(Krik 1)

Religion in Nigeria was always the same around everywhere. But when British arrived they brought change to their beliefs. After they gained independence they the British just lets them struggle with relationship with Christians and Muslims. “Christian ethnic groups in Southern Nigeria have been drawn into these religious conflicts, with their members in Northern Nigerian cities frequently targeted by Muslim mobs. Muslim Northern Nigerians have sometimes been targeted in revenge killings in Southern Nigeria.Colonialism did not cause the primordial conditions and identities that have generated tensions and conflicts between Christians and Muslims, but it made them worse"( Ochonu 1)

Pre Gender Roles

In our book. Achebe describes gender roles in the following way Okonkwo ruled his household with a heavy hand. His wives, especially the youngest, lived in perpetual fear of his fiery temper ( Achebe 13) In their tribe Men are the dominate over the women. They have to comply with whatever their man wants to do

“Sit like a woman!” Okonkwo shouted at her. Ezinma brought her two legs together and stretched them in front of her. (Achebe pg 44) They believe that their is a certain way a woman should act and a certain way men should act in the Igbo tribe. One of which is how they sit woman need to sit with their legs closed to be less revealing with their body.

“When did you become a shivering old woman,” Okonkwo asked himself, “you, who are known in all the nine villages for your valor in war? How can a man who has killed five men in battle fall to pieces because he has added a boy to their number? Okonkwo, you have become a woman indeed.” (65) This quote show that Men being a women is like being nothing because they have no valor. And showing emotions is a thing only women do and not men

Woman in the Igbo culture were beat and had little or no value (they need to be married to be “valuable” )In their head men were superior and often wanted to have male children.But even though it looked that way everyone had a specific role to play and all in all their motives were peaceful.Women even though they were not always rulers had an important role in raising children and often had ruling over the household.When the British saw this they thought that the Igbo had a similar way of thinking.

Post gender roles

From precolonial times to the early 21st century, the role and status of women in Nigeria have continuously evolved. However, the image of a helpless, oppressed, and marginalized group has undermined their proper study, and little recognition has been granted to the various integral functions that Nigerian women have performed throughout history.( falola)

Through the radical nature of the changes, we can see how notions of gender can be regulated through exchanges and assignments of power. By replacing gender systems that had logical bearing within these societies with a western system, colonialism caused ‘women’ to become defined in opposition to ‘men’ rather than by natural resources as in the Igbo and Maasai cases, or lineage as in the Yoruba case. We see how as gender is created or changed to mock another model of gender, power no longer flows through a system; it becomes inaccessible to those who are put into a gender system with no logical bearing.( women )

Conculsion: In conculsion During the British conquest the British strip the people Nigeria from their system of beliefs to a new one. which ended up changing them in a very dramatic way a more modern way of society. From who rules the house to whom they worship. Even after they gain independence ( Nigeria) the changes stayed and are still affecting the people .

Contributes Jonzo Jimenez, Medardo Lugo And Brayan Carrera

Resources (Krik 1) Kirk-Greene, Anthony Hamilton Millard, and J.F. Ade Ajayi. "Nigeria." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 29 May 2015. Web. 22 Mar. 2017

(Ochonu) Ochonu, Moses. "The Roots of Nigeria's Religious and Ethnic Conflict." Public Radio International. Globe Post, 10 Mar. 2014. Web. 24 Mar. 2017

Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. London: Heinemann, 1965. Print. (Note we the number after Achebe's name is the chapter then the page)

Second image ( source )

Third image ( source )

( women )“Women & Religion in Africa.” Women & Religion in Africa >> Gender & Power. Web. 24 Mar. 2017.

( falola ) Falola, Toyin O. "The Role of Nigerian Women." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 20 Nov. 2007. Web. 24 Mar. 2017.


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