igbo

“Bury me in the ocean with my ancestors who jumped from ships, ’cause they knew death was better than bondage.”

There are AT LEAST 100,000 AFRICANS in the bottom of atlantic oceans. These were not Americans or brazillians or Jamaicans etc, these were Yoruba people, Fulani, Igbos, Ashanti, AKan, Mandinka men and women who were thrown overboard by european slave traders

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Young Adult Books with Black Protagonists

Akata Witch/What Sunny Saw in the Flames Series by Nnedi Okorafor

Twelve-year-old Sunny lives in Nigeria, but she was born American. Her features are African, but she’s albino. She’s a terrific athlete, but can’t go out into the sun to play soccer. There seems to be no place where she fits in. And then she discovers something amazing she is a “free agent” with latent magical power. Soon she’s part of a quartet of magic students, studying the visible and invisible, learning to change reality. But will it be enough to help them when they are asked to catch a career criminal who knows magic too?

I took this picture as a reminder. To remind myself that I am not bound to one place. To remind myself that places like this exist, and waiting for me to come back.
This was my first time visiting the stream after many years of going back to Nigeria.
My mother told me stories of how she and her cousins used to bathe here. How this was the place she learnt to swim. How the water was so clear you could look right in and see your toes as if there was nothing surrounding it.

I heard it before I saw it. gasped when I did.


Ezeagu
Enugu, Nigeria.

West Indian Terms of Igbo origin

Some common words still used in Caribbean English[es] that come directly from the Igbo language or are influenced by it.

Unu/Wunna

‘You [plural]’, the same in Igbo, únù, wunna may be used, in Nigerian pidgin English una is used.

Soso

‘Only’, ‘single’, in Igbo orthography it’s sọsọ [saw-saw] meaning the same. [Not to be confused with English so-so, meaning average or mediocre]

De

‘Is’, ‘presently’ / ‘positioned in’, in Igbo orthography dị [dih], also in Nigerian pidgin as de.

Se

‘say’, ‘said’, also from English, Igbo sị.

Atoo

‘chewing stick’, Igbo atụ [atuh]

Béké

‘White person’, in Igbo orthography bèké, meaning white person but also generally western or European, used in the French Antilles including Dominica [Roseau]. 

Big Eye

‘greedy’, ‘envious’, a calque of Igbo ányá úkwú [lit. ‘eye big’] meaning the same.

Poto poto

‘mud’, ‘muddy’, Igbo mkpọtọ mkpọtọ, meaning the same.

Okro

Igbo ọkrọ [aw-kraw] or ọkwụru, plant known to some as ‘lady fingers’.

Obeah

‘shamanism’, ‘witchcraft’, in Igbo orthography ọbia [aw-bia] meaning ‘oracle’ or ‘doctoring’, practitioners in Igbo are known as dibia [di ọbia].


Possibilities:

Awoh

An exclamation, in Igbo it’s ewo and usually used in the same context. Ex: Ihe ị dere ebe a hikwara nne, ewo! [This list is quite long, ewo!]

Ah

[particle] ‘is’, ‘will’, in Igbo orthography á [alternating tone], gá in Igbo is ‘go’ in the example: ‘to go’, CE: ah go; Igbo: a ga. / ‘is he going?’, Caribbean English (CE): him ah go? Igbo: ọ na à ga?.

Nah

‘will not’, in Igbo nà is ‘is’, à at the end makes it negative, together it’s na with a long ‘a’, same meaning. Example: ‘I’m not going’ CE: Me nah go; Igbo: A na’m a ga.

Go

‘going to’, ‘will’, Igbo ‘ga’, Example: ‘he will come’ CE: him ah go come; Igbo: ọ ga a bia [which is word for word if you switch around the ‘ah’ and ‘go’].

Source: Holloway, Joseph E. (2005). Africanisms in American culture; Cassidy, Frederic Gomes; Page, Robert Brock Le (2002). A Dictionary of Jamaican English; McWhorter, John H. (2000). The Missing Spanish Creoles: Recovering the Birth of Plantation Contact Languages; Menz, Jessica (2008). London Jamaican-Jamaican Creole in London.

Ball pythons in Igbo tradition

So I was reading “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe and came across a mention of sacred ‘royal pythons.’ I was wondering if they meant actual royal pythons as in ball pythons.

Turns out it totally was! Ball pythons are a sacred animal in Igbo tradition because they move so close to the ground they are associated with the earth goddess.

Because of this they are traditionally treated with great respect and allowed to move as they please around homes and villages, only being moved gently to the woods if they are in the way.

If a ball python is accidentally killed traditionally it would be buried and given a funeral like a person!

This both goes against the idea that ball pythons live completely sedentary live in the wild and is a great example of a culture respecting and not taking for granted wild reptiles!

@wheremyscalesslither you might appreciate this!

Everyone’s on their own journey, and it’s important to respect that. Sometimes advice, inspiration, and motivation are welcome, other times they’re not. Be mindful that some people need to learn their lessons when they’re ready and on their own terms. Send them love and light, and let them know you support them, but give them the space they need.
—  via @wizdomly

In Igbo, we don’t say “I love you” we say “Afurum gi n’anya” which translates to “I have you in my eyes” and loosely means “You’re the only one I see” and I think that’s beautful.

Submitted by @weraconteuse