Things Fall Apart
How we cite our quotes:
“Don’t you know what kind of man Uzowulu is? He will not listen to any other decision,” replied the other. (10.52)
The egwugwu trials, by virtue of their divine sanction, have more authority than any judgment that men might make on each other. Divine judgment is the only way to settle disputes involving stubborn heads like Uzowulu.
“Tufia-a!” the priestess cursed, her voice cracking like the angry bark of thunder in the dry season. How dare you, woman, to go before the mighty Agbala of your own accord? Beware, woman, lest he strike you in his anger. Bring me my daughter.” (11.39)
The priestess uses godly language to subdue Ekwefi; first she yells a curse and secondly she invokes the name of the god Agbala. With divine power and entities behind her, the priestess convinces Ekwefi to back off.
From then on, Chielo never ceased in her chanting. She greeted her god in a multitude of names – the owner of the future, the messenger of earth, the god who cut a man down when his life was sweetest to him. (11.63)
Through her epithets, Chielo names multiple powers that the Igbo people believe Agbala has – foresight, power over the earth, the ability to kill. All of these are qualities which the agricultural Umuofia people would respect, deeply desire, and even potentially fear.