| Quote #4
"If we are Christians, we must be ready to die for the faith," he said. "You must be ready to kill the python as the people of the rivers killed the iguana. You address the python as Father. It is nothing but a snake, the snake that deceived our first mother, Eve. If you are afraid to kill it do not count yourself a Christian."
The catechist at the Christian church sets the stage for the contest between Christianity and the traditional gods of Umuaro by challenging his congregation to defy the old traditions. In particular, he incites the people of Umuaro to kill and eat the sacred royal python. Such an act would be an abomination according to Ibo culture.
| Quote #5
Unachukwu was a carpenter, the only one in all those parts. He had learnt the trade under the white missionaries who built the Onitsha Industrial Mission. In his youth he had been conscripted to carry the loads of the soldiers who were sent to destroy Abame as a reprisal for the killing of a white man. What Unachukwu saw during that punitive expedition taught him that the white man was not a thing of fun. And so after his release he did not return to Umuaro but made his way to Onitsha, where he became house-boy to the carpenter-missionary, J.P. Hargreaves. After over ten years' sojourn in a strange land, Unachukwu returned to Umuaro with the group of missionaries who succeeded after two previous failures in planting the new faith among his people….
Moses Unachukwu is a Christian convert, and educated in the ways of the white man. Such a background give him power in Umuaro, a power that he is not willing to give up. Knowledge of the white man's culture and his ability to speak English are his weapons for securing his position among his people. His weapon of choice in challenging the catechist is, conversely, his intimate knowledge of Umuaro's culture and customs.
| Quote #6
"One day six brothers of Umuama killed the python and asked one of their number, Iweka, to cook yam pottage with it. Each of them brought a piece of yam and a bowl of water to Iweka. When he finished cooking the yam pottage the men came one by one and took their pieces of yam. Then they began to fill their bowls to the mark with the yam stew. But this time only four of them took their measure before the stew got finished."
Moses Unachukwu recounts one of the foundational myths of Igbo religion and life, explaining why they must honor the sacred python. Ironically, the story he tells foreshadows exactly what happens in Umuaro when Oduche decides to challenge the sacred python by locking him in a box. The ensuing animosity between Ezeulu and Ezidemili results in Ezeulu's decision to seek his revenge on the village for disrespecting him. Unfortunately, Ezeulu's god, Ulu, is the loser in the contest.