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Arrow of God

Arrow of God

by Chinua Achebe

Tradition and Customs Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #10

"Father, is it the custom for the diviner to take home the hen brought for the sacrifice?" asked Obika.

"No, my son. Did Aniegboka do so?"

"He did. I wanted to speak to him but my mother made a sign to me not to talk."

"It is not the custom. You must know that there are more people with greedy, long throats in the pursuit of medicine than anywhere else." He noticed the look of concern on Obika's face. "Take your wife home and do not allow this to trouble you. If a diviner wants to eat the entrails of sacrifice like a vulture the matter lies between him and his chi. You have done your part by providing the animal."

When they left him Ezeulu felt his heart warm with pleasure as it had not done for many days. Was Obika already a changed person? It was not like him to come to his father and ask questions with so much care on his face. (11.119-123)

The medicine man was not entirely accurate in fulfilling his duties. In performing the sacrifice as it was done traditionally, Obika has finally learned a more important custom, that of honoring his father.

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