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Igbo market days and the festival of the pumpkin leaves by Noel Ihebuzor

The power and sheer beauty of Achebe’s prose. Is this prose or lyrical poetry? Ezeulu’s story of his confrontation with and triumph over the elements and the spirit world are presented in this racy and gripping narrative overflowing with imageries and symbols. The days of the week are protected by their powerful spirits but the priest of ulu worsts them and emerges at the end, a liberator and successful negotiator who also carries the weight of the failings of his people and buries these at Ulu’s shrine whilst offering supplications for their wishes and prayers for the future on his frame as he rushes into Ulu’s shrine. This encounter of expiation of sins and renewal for the future is told in a style that grips and awes. The Igbo world view presented here is deep and fascinating.