Things Fall Apart
by Chinua Achebe
Things Fall Apart Chapter Twelve Quotes
How we cite the quotes:
Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
[Obierika]: “We are giving you our daughter today. She will be a good wife to you. She will bear you nine sons like the mother of our town.”
[The crowd]: “Ee-e-e!”
The oldest man in the camp of the visitors replied: “It will be good for you and it will be good for us.”
This is not the first time my people have come to marry your daughter. My mother was one of you.”
“Prosperous men and great warriors.” He looked in the direction of Okonkwo. “Your daughter will bear us sons like you.”
This exchange of words before at a wedding seems to have ritual significance. The words Obierika says have the weight of promises which, by vocalizing them, he hopes to make come true. The “Ee-e-e!” response of the crowd seems to be some sort of collective affirmation or approval of the ceremony that lends credence to Obierika’s words.
On the following morning the entire neighborhood wore a festive air because Okonkwo’s friend, Obierika, was celebrating his daughter’s uri. It was the day on which her suitor (having already paid the greater part of her bride-price) would bring palm-wine not only to her parents and immediate relatives but to the wide and extensive group of kinsmen called umanna. Everybody had been invited – men, women and children. But it was really a woman’s ceremony and the central figures were the bride and her mother. (12.1)
During a daughter’s uri, women are finally acknowledged as important parts of the family and given free rein to plan the festival and feast.