The Arrow Of God : A Traditional Social, Political, And Religious Structure

The Arrow Of God : A Traditional Social, Political, And Religious Structure

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Arrow of God is set among the Igbo people of southern Nigeria a few years after the First World War. Though the British had claimed colonial rule over the Igbo land in 1885, expeditions to subdue individual Igbo villages were still being undertaken amidst the First World War. The fictional villages of Umuaro in the novel have had little interactions with the colonial power which claims to rule them before the beginning of the novel and although they have been exposed to Christianity and other aspects of European society retain a traditional social, political, and religious structure.
In 1914, Northern and Southern Nigeria were consolidated by the British government into a single administration headed by Governor-General Frederick Lugard, With his new authority, Lugard extended the system of indirect rule utilized by British authorities in the north into southern Nigeria.. Indirect rule required the creation of local government to serve the colonial agenda. These local governments were believed by the British to require autocratic chiefs, a custom foreign to the Igbo people whose political power was decentralized and typically in the hands of village assemblies. In a mindset common to European colonizers, the British saw the Igbo’s lack of autocratic chiefs and kings as a sign of “primitivity” and therefore interpreted it as their duty as bringers of civilization to appoint rulers for the Igbo, while also realizing that these warrant chiefs would allow the collection of new taxes on the colonized at a significantly lower cost than the alternatives.
In addition to these direct impositions of indirect rule, a brief discussion of the growth of Christianity among the Igbo. While the first missionaries came to the Igbo in 1857, b...


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...icularly on their cultural identity.
Today, Achebe is best known as the author of Things Fall Apart, the internationally best-selling novel taught today in classrooms in both hemispheres, but he can also claim the title of one of twentieth century Africa’s foremost intellectuals.. He played an important role in debates over the future of post-colonial Nigeria in addition to becoming a prolific writer of both poetry and prose, fiction and nonfiction. He has often referred to his works of fiction in interviews and essays as motivated by a desire to teach the world that culture was not something brought to Africa by its colonizers. Arrow of God like Things Fall Apart with which it is sometimes grouped as two-thirds of an Igbo Trilogy, presents a Igbo society with social, religious, political, and artistic complexity disturbed by the advance of British colonial power.

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