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 and animals

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 detests crimes.

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. [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.  [Accessed May 20, 2003]

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Copyright 2003

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