The Chinua Achebe Encyclopedia

By M. Keith Booker | Go to book overview

A

ABAME

, a village near Umuofia in ThingsFall Apart. The men of Umuofia regard Abame as having “upside-down” customs. In chapter 15, we learn that the village of Abame has been destroyed by British-led troops in reprisal for the killing of a white man. The story is based on the fate of the actual town of Ahiara, which was largely wiped out by British-led troops in 1905 after the killing of an Englishman, J.F. Stewart. The village of Abame also figures prominently in Arrow of God, in which we learn that the six villages of Umuaro originally banded together as a single unit in order to defend themselves against raids by Abam warriors.


FURTHER READING
Robert M. Wren, “Things Fall Apart in Its Time and Place.”

M. Keith Booker


ABAZON

, a region in the northern part of the fictional African state of Kangan in Anthills of the Savannah. While Abazon has, at the time of the novel's action, been restored to Kangan, it had previously seceded and thus recalls the situation of Biafra in Nigeria. The uneasy position of Abazon within Kangan suggests the way in which postcolonial African nations were typically yoked together by their European rulers rather than evolving through an organic historical process based on shared cultural and political traditions. Meanwhile, the woes of Abazon are compounded in the novel by a severe, long-term drought that has brought famine to the region, which continues to occupy a problematic political position because of its recent refusal, as a region, to approve a recent referendum declaring Sam, the President to be president for life of Kangan.

M. Keith Booker


ABUJA

, the capital city of Nigeria, located near the center of the federal capital territory and of Nigeria itself. The land of Abuja was the southwestern part of the ancient kingdom of Zazzau (Zaria). The name “Abuja” was derived from that of Abu Ja, a brother to Muhammadu Makau, the last Hausa ruler of Zaria. In the early nineteenth century, Makau had left Zaria after being defeated by the Fulani and settled in the area now known as Abuja. In 1825 his brother Abu Ja succeeded him as the sixty-second King of Zaria.

The old town of Abuja was built into a modern city between 1976, when plans for the new capital were approved, and December 1991, when it officially became the capital of Nigeria, replacing Lagos. At that time,

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The Chinua Achebe Encyclopedia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword: Chinua Achebe and the Institution of African Literature vii
  • Preface xvii
  • Chronology xix
  • A 1
  • B 39
  • C 51
  • D 73
  • E 76
  • F 83
  • G 91
  • H 96
  • I 109
  • J 122
  • K 126
  • L 130
  • M 136
  • N 161
  • O 191
  • P 218
  • R 229
  • S 233
  • T 246
  • U 270
  • V 280
  • W 281
  • Y 286
  • Z 288
  • Bibliography 289
  • Index 303
  • About the Contributors 315
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