Ibo Goddess of the Earth
Regardless of language or religious faith amongst African people
the belief in a creator divinity is common in this country of rich and diverse
spiritual beliefs. For the African people, the creator is present everywhere,
in all thing, at all times, in both sacred spaces and secular realms
Religion and spiritual beliefs are highly regarded and of utmost importance
within African culture. Deborah Holton, in “Goddesses and Heroines”, states
that “Africans across ethnic divides highly value and are widely celebrated
for their sophisticated and complex music, dance, art forms, and oral traditions”.
And she goes on saying that “ African people across the continent and throughout
the Diaspora share elemental spiritual beliefs while practicing various religions”.
One of the most popular and beloved divinity of the Ibo tribe in Nigeria
is the Earth Goddess Ala. She is the daughter of the High God and is
considered to be the mother of all things. Temples are situated in the center
of villages, where She has a statue surrounded by the images of other Gods
Ala, literally, means “land, earth or ground”, and Ala is both the Goddess
of fertility and the Goddess of death. She gives birth in the beginning and
welcomes the dead back to Her womb; representing the full cycle of earth’s
seasons, thus all creatures, trees and plants are sacred to Her. She
is also provider of communal loyalty and Lawgiver of society and She strongly
Ala’s symbols include the Crescent Moon and Yams as representation of Her
wishes for good fortune and joy for all Her children. She is always portrayed
as a seated figure with an elongated torso and long thick neck; features
considered by the Ibo people to represent the ideal of feminine beauty
The Vision of Ala, Monaghan,Patricia (2000). The New Book Of Goddesses & Heroines. Llewellyn Publocations. St. Paul,
“Ala”. Encyclopedia Mythica. http://www.pantheon.org/articles/a/ala.html [Accessed: May 20, 2003].
Telesco,Patricia (1999). 365 Goddesses: A Daily Guide to The Magic And Inspiration Of The Goddess”. Harper, San Fransico.
Cole,Herbert.(date n/a). California Academy of Sciences: Mbari: Art and Life among the Owerri Ibo. http://www.calcademy.org/anthropology/tap/archieve/2002/2002-01-mbari.html#nwogu [Accessed May 20, 2003]
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