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The three women talked excitedly about the relations who had been invited, and the children reveled in the thought of being spoiled by these visitors from the motherland. (5.5)
The reunion of family members is an exciting prospect for the women, many of whom moved to a new village when they got married. They cannot wait to see their own blood relations.
“Ekwefi,” she said, “is it true that when people are grown up, fire does not burn them?” Ezinma, unlike most children, called her mother by her name. (5.16)
Ezinma is an anomaly in the Igbo family unit because she does not address her mother with a term of respect – like mother – but by her given name, as if they are equals.
“Will you give Ezinma some fire to bring to me?” Her [Nwoye’s mother’s] own children and Ikemefuna had gone to the stream.
Ekwefi put a few live coals into a piece of broken pot and Ezinma carried it across the clean swept compound to Nwoye’s mother.
“Thank you, Nma,” she said. She was peeling new yams, and in a basket beside her were green vegetables and beans.
“Let me make the fire for you,” Ezinma offered.
“Thank you, Ezigbo,” she said. She often called her Ezigbo, which means “the good one.” (5.30-34)
Women within the same family maintain a solidarity in which they help each other, putting aside personal jealousies, to keep the family running.