What Was the Question Again? Yoruba versus Igbo. Killing Twins versus Not Killing Twins. Was It Merely a Case of Evolving Different Answers to the Same Question?

By Wambu, Onyekachi | New African, May 2009 | Go to article overview

What Was the Question Again? Yoruba versus Igbo. Killing Twins versus Not Killing Twins. Was It Merely a Case of Evolving Different Answers to the Same Question?


Wambu, Onyekachi, New African


In Africa there is a tendency to fixate on received answers, rather than the more important thing - the original question. Take the issue of twin births. In prehistory, two African peoples, living side by side, responded to the puzzle in starkly different ways. Traditionally, the Yoruba venerated twins, seeing them as a blessing, while less than 500 miles away, my people, the Igbo, who equally venerated children, saw the birth of twins as an abomination, and killed them.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

When the British began their conquest at the end of the 19th century and tried to get the Igbo to change their ways, there was a great deal of resistance. The Igbo saw this as an immovable part of their culture. If they changed it, surely the heavens would fall down. Alongside defending their sovereignty, the Igbo defended their "traditional African" culture to carry on killing twins.

The British administration, and more importantly, the adoption of Christianity, led the Igbos by the 1940s to eventually abandon their belief and the practice of killing twins. (Although you can be sure there are still one or two Igbos who continue to believe that all the misfortunes that have since befallen us as a people, are a result of us not carrying on this or that "traditional" practice).

So why did the Igbo resist for so long a phenomenon the Yorubas had evolved a different and more humane answer to? I suspect that both communities were responding to a bigger question that was facing their people in their part of the Niger area - that Is, the prevalence of multiple births. Scientists have now officially recorded that this area produces the highest incidence of natural multiple births in the world. Experts aren't sure but suspect it might be due to diet (yams), or a genetic trait, what is obvious is that our ancestors in this part of Africa grappled with this natural phenomenon and sought answers to it.

For whatever reason in the dim mists of time, the Igbos must have feared multiple births. One can think of many reasons: fear of losing the mother in childbirth. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

What Was the Question Again? Yoruba versus Igbo. Killing Twins versus Not Killing Twins. Was It Merely a Case of Evolving Different Answers to the Same Question?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.