The Woodchopper: An African Cultural Autobiography
The Woodchopper paints a vivid picture of the devastation heaped upon one family by the destructive Biafran War in Nigeria. However, the strength of the autobiographical work is its portrayal of the lives of common people in the twelve small villages of Achi in southeastern Nigeria prior to and after the Biafran War. Their worship of idols and deities; the ferocity of Igbo warriors in hand-to-hand combat; the emergency night meetings of village elders, fetish priests, and others with spiritual powers when danger threatened; and the ever-present European missionaries who were bent on saving the pagans from their superstitious patterns of worship are all covered in an accessible literary style. The Woodchopper is strongly recommended to anyone who is interested in gaining a better understanding of the Biafran War and, perhaps more importantly, to those who are interested in learning more about Nigeria, the nation that has the largest and most diverse population in sub-Saharan Africa.
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Achi Achi warriors Adaeze Agwu Alinta Amaechi asked Author’s Awgu Nta Awlaw Bessie Biafran army Biafran soldiers Biafran War boys brother called cassava chicken chief priest Christmas church cooked coup dad’s dance daughter Eastern Nigeria Egokwube egusi Ekwerike elders enemy Enugu Ezekiel Ezik father forbidden forest friends girls goat Hausa invaders Hausa soldiers Henry Ichie Anusi Igbo Igboland Inyiagu stream Ironsi Isikwe Jameson Kaduna kids killed kola nuts land leader living loved masquerade Mbamalu military mother Ngwo Nigerian invaders Nigerian soldiers North Northern Nsukka Nwawetaku Nzimiro Obu Achi Ochii Odika officer Ogba deity Oji-River Onwuatuegwu Onyebeke family Osondu Ozo title palm oil palm wine parents python Rachel raffia palms savanna sergeant siblings sisters stockfish told took town tradition Umuahia Umuakpu village uncle Igboekwe vandals visitors walked wanted white man’s women young Zacchaeus