Presentations Day One:
The first day of presentations dealt with the Ibo ceremonial traditions related to tribal dancing and music as well as welcoming ceremonies for new and returning guests. For the dancing portion of the day, we were able to step into the shoes of a traditional Ibo dancer which helped me understand fully the difficulty and speed that characterized the Ibo dances. Music is very significant in Ibo culture as it is a means of celebration, piety, and communication between villages and individual people as well. I think that music and the use of drums will be useful for our reading of Things Fall Apart as music is a key representation of the Ibo tribal relations and ceremonies. For example, if the music is slow and uneventful, it could be a song of mourning for a loss of a loved one, while the faster music could suggest a celebration. I hope to see these types of music being manifested in the novel. Almost going hand in hand with the ceremonial music, the rituals regarding the welcoming of guests into the home was also very culturally enlightening. When guests arrive at a host’s home, the breaking of kola nuts takes place as a ceremonial welcoming to the guest. Usually the host does the breaking and it signifies the presence and opening up of the home to the guest. Additionally hosts participate in a chalk ceremony in which the host draws a certain number of lines in chalk in front of the home to signify the entrance of that person. The number of lines reflects the ranking of that person in the tribe. For example, an elder would be signified with four to eight lines while most others would only be signified with one or two lines. I think that this will be seen in the novel as it is a commonly followed and important tradition.
Presentations Day Two:
My own presentation with Zi and Dillon on Ibo food and the cultural values of food went very well and we enjoyed the process of preparation greatly. We made two Ibo recipes: Yam Foo Foo and Yam Porridge. We first began our process of research by looking online to find the most popular current day and traditional foods of Western Nigeria. We found out that yams were incredibly important to the agriculture of the Ibo and is a staple food during their meals. Because yams were so important to the Ibo, we tried to find quick recipes that centered on yams. We split up the research on other topics related to food such as its history, its development, mealtime customs, and importance of food in religious ceremonies amongst ourselves and presented accordingly. We all gathered at my house with all of the ingredients and decided that we should make a recipe video for both our dishes while we were making them. The only problem with this entire process is that, because of time restraints and our different schedules, we were never able to meet and practice our whole presentation so we were very much “winging it” with the information we had gathered individually. I think that we could improve on our oral component next time by practicing a bit more while we had the time in class and at our homes. The presentation after ours was about the marital customs that the Ibo valued greatly. I learned about the process of a marriage through a simulation and an important