Arrow of God
by Chinua Achebe
Arrow of God Race Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"Umuru is no match for my mother's people in medicine," said Akukalia. "Their market has grown because the white man took his merchandise there."
"Why did he take his merchandise there," asked the other man," if not because of their medicine? The old woman of the market has swept the world with her broom, even the land of the white men where they say the sun never shines." (2.33-34).
Though he is headed to Okperi on a mission of war, Akukalia can't help but show some pride in his mother's people and the strength of their medicine. They have used it to capture the hearts of the white man.
"I remember coming with my father to this very place to cut grass for our thatches," said Akukalia. "It is a thing of surprise to me that my mother's people are claiming it today."
"It is all due to the white man who says, like an elder to two fighting children: You will not fight while I am around. And so the younger and weaker of the two begins to swell himself up and to boast."
"You have spoken the truth," said Akukalia. "Things like this would never have happened when I was a young man, to say nothing of the days of my father. I remember all this very well." (2.38-40)
This quote demonstrates that British colonialism's propaganda is working. The men of Umuaro recognize that the colonial administration, run by white men, behaves as though all Africans are children who can be ordered around.
The war waged from one Afo to the next. On the day it began Umuaro killed two men of Okperi. The next day was Nkwo, and so there was no fighting. On the two following days, Eke and Oye, the fighting grew fierce. Umuaro killed four men and Okperi replied with three, one of the three being Akukalia's brother Okoye. The next day, Afo, saw the war brought to a sudden close. The white man, Wintabota, brought soldiers to Umuaro and stopped it. The story of what these soldiers did in Abame was still told with fear, and so Umuaro made no effort to resist but laid down their arms. Although they were not yet satisfied they could say without shame that Akukalia's death had been avenged, that they had provided him with three men on whom to rest his head. It was also a good thing perhaps that the war was stopped. The death of Akukalia and his brother in one and the same dispute showed that Ekwensu's hand was in it.
The white man, not satisfied that he had stopped the war, had gathered all the guns in Umuaro and asked the soldiers to break them in the face of all, except three or four which he carried away. Afterwards he sat in judgement over Umuaro and Okperi and gave the disputed land to Okperi. (2.102-103)
Because of the war between Umuaro and Okperi, colonial power suddenly enters the region. Though western culture had clearly entered the region before in subtle ways, this was an entirely new phase. With colonial power came the white man's religion, traditions, and ways of doing things.