Notes on Objects & Places from Things Fall Apart

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Things Fall Apart Objects/Places

Umuofia: The name of the village where Okonkwo and his family live. It is one of a cluster of nine villages, the farthest being Mbaino.

Kola nut: A ritual refreshment for hosts and guests.

Cowries: Shells used for currency.

Agbala: The Oracle of the Hills and Caves. The shrine to Agbala was a cave that worshippers entered through a round hole in the side of a hill. Inside the cave, the priestess of Agbala proclaimed the will of the god there to those who sought the god.

Ogbanje: An ogbanje is a wicked child who is born and then dies only to re-enter its mother's womb over and over again. The medicine men believed that the only way to rid a woman of an ogbanje was to mutilate the dead child and then bury it in the Evil Forest.

Evil Forest: The Evil Forest is located across the stream from the village where anything that was not condoned by the religion of Umuofia was sent, including men who killed themselves, ogbanje, and twins.

iyi-uwa: The stone that connects the ogbanje with the spirit world. Destroying this stone will ensure that the child will live.

egwugwu: Men who disguise themselves as the ancestral spirits of the village and judge disputes among the villages. There are nine egwugwu, one for each of the nine villages started by the sons of the father of the clan long ago.

Abame: A village destroyed by white men because they killed one white man. The villagers were ambushed and slaughtered in their marketplace as punishment for their crime against the white men. Okonkwo thinks of this story in most of his encounters with the white men and vows not to be caught off-guard as the people of Abame were.

Chi: A personal god that determines a man's fate and guides his fortune, almost an embodiment of luck.

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