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Things Fall Apart

Background on kola nut, alligator pepper, and chalk in Igbo culture.

Bri B

on 27 March 2013

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Transcript of Things Fall Apart

"Things Fall Apart"
By Chinua Achebe By Bri Biorn, Alex Bukovich, Ta- Tiana Brodie, and John Interactive Oral Presentation Group 4: Our assignment was to research: Kola Nuts fruit of the Kola tree native to tropical rainforests of Africa
caffeine-containing fruit used in beverages and to greet people
cola tree called "cola acuminata" which is evergreen and 20 meters high w/ long narrow leaves pointed at bottom with leathery texture
tastes bitter but sweetens as you start to chew
can also be boiled to extract cola Uses of Kola nuts: chewed mainly in West African cultures, often used ceremonial to tribal chiefs or to present/ welcome guests
preferred among African Muslims that are forbidden to drink alcohol
ease hunger
treat asthma by expanding bronchial air passage
best known for flavorful ingredient
can lead to stained teeth
becoming less popular among urban youth of West Africa History of Kola Nuts: mainly used in Nigeria
sacred offering during prayers and significant life events
1800's Gregorian pharmacist John Pemberton took extracts of kola and coca, mixed with sugar and other ingredients to create "Coca-Cola" but in 1904 they stopped using Kola Extra Information Kola nut is not addictive and does not lead to depression
helps with gastrointestinal disorders
treats migraine headaches
May cause insomnia, anxiety, or nervousness Alligator Pepper North American spice similar to the seed pods of Aframomum exscapum
common ingredient in West African cuisine where it imparts both heat, pungency, and spicy aroma to classic West African soups Facts About the Pepper the seed originated in West Africa
the numerous seeds are grey/brown shells
they have a pungent smell with pepper-like heat
flavors include hazelnut, butter, and citrus
used sparingly because it is expensive, even in West Africa
As the name suggests, the fruit and the seeds have a texture and appearance like that of an alligators back Purpose Alligator seeds were blended with a kola nut in order to welcome visitors and make them feel welcome.
The pepper also stands for manliness, just like a yam.
Because of the hot spicy taste, it enhances and/or reduces the bitter taste from the kola nut. Chalk Significance of Chalk in Igbo Culture this native chalk suggests purity and projection
usually applied to the eyes and temple
used by high ranking people for magical protection because they are often objects of envy, which is commonly expressed by witchcraft used in rituals
a host would present chalk to the guest and smear it on their wrist to declare purity of the heart towards the guest
"chalk" in Igbo translates to "Ima Nzu"
when 2 elders meet, each takes chalk and draws 4 or 8 lines on the floor "He who brings kola brings life." (Achebe 6) "Okoye...took the lump of chalk, drew some lines on the floor, and then painted his big toe." (Achebe 6) "Unoka went into an inner room and soon returned with a small wooden disc containing a kola nut, some alligator pepper and a lump of white chalk." (Achebe 6) "Nwakibie presented a kola nut and an alligator pepper, which were passed round for all to see and then returned to him." (Achebe 19) "Obierika held up a piece of chalk, which every man kept in his obi and with which his guests drew lines on the floor before they ate kola nuts." (Achebe 74) Kola nut alligator pepper chalk Works Cited "Kola Nut (plant)." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2013. Widjaja, Michael. "Kola Nut." Kola Nut. Igbo Guide, 2011. Web. 26 Mar. 2013. Onyemaechi, Uzoma. "Igbo Culture and Socialization." Igbo Culture. University of Michigan, n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2013. Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. New York: Anchor, 1994. 6+. Print. "Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe Summary and Analysis Part 1: Chapter 1." Things Fall Apart: Summary and Analysis: Chapter 1. Cliff Notes, n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2013. "Things Fall Apart" Kola Nut Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NaZSMjhOmI
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