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Haiku: An Origin Story

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“He who does not know where he is going must, at least, know where he is coming from.” African Proverb

Haiku: An Origin Story - Igbo People & Culture

Haiku: An Origin Story – Igbo People & Culture

Haiku: An Origin Story - Igbo People & Culture

Haiku: An Origin Story – Igbo People & Culture

The Igbo people of Southern Nigeria are more than ten million strong and must be accounted one of the major peoples of Africa. Conventional practice would call them a tribe, but I no longer follow that convention. I call them a nation.
“Here we go again!,” you might be thinking.
Well, let me explain. My Pocket Oxford Dictionary defines tribe as follows: “group of (esp. primitive) families or communities linked by social, religious or blood ties and usually having a common culture and dialect and a recognized leader.” If we apply the different criteria of this definition to Igbo people we will come up with the following results:
a. Igbo people are not primitive; if we were I would not be offering this distinguished lecture, or would I?;
b. Igbo people are not linked by blood ties; although they may share many cultural traits;
c. Igbo people do not speak one dialect; they speak one language which has scores of major and minor dialects;
d. and as for having one recognized leader, Igbo people would regard the absence of such a recognized leader as the very defining principle of their social and political identity.” Chinua Achebe, Home and Exile

Who are your people?
Igbo … land of rising suns
Kingdom of Nri

Who are your people?
We are an ancient nation
We are NOT a tribe!

Who are your people?
Palm wine tappers, yam farmers
Hunters, healers … me

Who are your people?
Goat herders, dancing palms … bronze
Red earth, talking drums,

Who are your people?
Ezeama’s steady falls…
My father’s village

More Below!
“The sun will shine on those who stand, before it shines on those who kneel under them.” Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart

Haiku: An Origin Story - Igbo People & Culture

Haiku: An Origin Story – Igbo People & Culture

The Igbo nation in precolonial times was not quite like any nation most people are familiar with. It did not have the apparatus of centralized government but a conglomeration of hundreds of independent towns and villages each of which shared the running of its affairs among its menfolk according to title, age, occupation, etc.; and its women folk who had domestic responsibilities as well as the management of the scores of four-day and eight-day markets that bound the entire region and its neighbours in a network of daily exchange of goods and news, from far and near. Chinua Achebe, Home and Exile

Who are your people?
Elders pray … Iroko trees
benevolent chi

Who are your people?
Our cultural artifacts
Ancestral worship

Who are your people?
WE, the sum of many parts
Of ancient streams … LIFE

A wise, proud people
Storytellers, teachers … arts
Who are YOUR people?

This post was inspired by a WordPress Prompt:  Discover Challenge:  Origin Story  –  For this week’s challenge, tell us your own origin story, in whatever medium or genre you feel like. The scope can be as wide or as narrow as you see fit: the trip that made you forever love the outdoors. The day in the kitchen when, as a kid, you first realized how happy working with dough made you. Or an early episode of disappointment that somehow marked your future endeavors, for better and for worse. Feel free to get creative with your storytelling — or even to invent an origin story that explains who you are better than the boring, nonfiction version. To help other participants and new fans find your response in the Reader, tag your post #DiscoverWP. Not sure how to add a tag? Learn more.


Positive Motivation Tip: We are the sum of our many ancestral parts… embrace yours

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos : Africa via Pixabay and IGBO via Wikipedia

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

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