African literature was first recognized around 2300-2100 B.C., when ancient Egyptians begin using burial texts to accompany their dead. These include the first written accounts of creation - the Memphite Declaration of Deitie s.
With the period of Colonization, African oral traditions and written works came under serious threat from outside sources.
Europeans, justifying themselves with the Christian ethics, tried to destroy the "pagan" and "primitive" culture of the Africans, to make them more pliable slaves. However, African Literature survived this concerted attack.
Chinua Achebe presents native African culture in his stunning work, Things Fall Apart . This is probably the most read work of African Literature ever written, and it provides a deep level of cultural detail
Things Fall Apart , Africa's most important novel to date, is probably the most widely studied African creative work both in Africa and abroad. The novel's universal appeal has led to its being translated into more than 50 languages
To understand the concepts in Things Fall Apart, it is important to know about the Ibo (also called Igbo) culture
People and Community http://peacecorpsonline.org/messages/jpeg/nigeria008.jpg http://media.photobucket.com/image/igbo%20husband/Feels_Good_2B_Home/igbowedding.jpg http://www.nigeriansinamerica.com/content_images/igbo_title.jpg
The Igbo beliefs were once very tribal in nature. Before Christianity was introduced, their belief system revolved around one particular god, named Chukwu
Chukwu was seen as an all powerful and omnipresent God and representations, symbols and sanctuaries for him can be found almost anywhere. Homes, compounds, buildings and even village parks and squares would display these depictions of Chukwu
Also believed in many smaller deities that would compete among themselves
CHI was a god seen as individually personalized by its followers.
The people believed strongly in ones ability to improve status in the present world or afterlife through change.
http://www.literaryworlds.wmich.edu/umuofia/images/mask3.JPG http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_Q_QOyPJQRZE/SMbWxYguxdI/AAAAAAAAABU/3eC7dGsGjvk/s320/eldermeeting.jpg Egwugwu These figures are tutelary deities known as alusi or agbara http://www.artheos.org/images/5476.jpg