The Oracle So we've discussed Chielo when she isn't possessed - but there's a whole other side of her personality that comes through when she's been possessed by the goddess Agbala and is acting as her Oracle, the Oracle of the Hills and Caves. Many people come from near and far to hear what Agbala has to say. The Ibo people hold their chi responsible for the events that occur in their lives. Religion is probably one of the biggest aspects of Ibo culture. Chi is said to be an individual's personal god, which is determined by the individual's good fortune or lack thereof. Within the informal ecclesiastical construct of Umuofian religion, Chielo is the sole earthly authority. Ezinma herself is reported to be dying, and Chielo's sudden, imperious order unsettles them.
Even Okonkwo has to obey her. She is a kind of prophet, foretelling what Umuofia's future will hold. No one dares challenge or argue with her, lest they face the wrath of the goddess. The people look up to her and refer to her as "god-like". Ezinma's parents, however, are disturbed by Chielo's demands. Chi is said to be an individual's personal god, which is determined by the individual's good fortune or lack thereof. Apparently this happens quite frequently, and the villagers don't see it as a source of alarm. At the time of the novel, Okonkwo is older, not much wiser, and quite wealthy. Okonkwo is a violent, temperamental man who has many wives and children and is famed for his wrestling prowess as a young man. When Chielo is not possessed by the goddess Agbala acting as the Oracle, she's a normal woman. The Ibo people must fear Chukwu for his will is too great to be known. Like the Abame Oracle, Chielo sees how the white missionaries will fracture existing socio-religious ties among the tribes. The people of the village also listen to every word of the priestess, even if that means making a sacrifice. Chielo's entire countenance changes when she's possessed; instead of a regular, lovable, hardworking woman, she becomes a fierce, deep-voiced communicator of Agbala's desires. With Ezinma on her back, Chielo makes the rounds of the nine villages before coming to the caves. Within the informal ecclesiastical construct of Umuofian religion, Chielo is the sole earthly authority. The Ibo people hold their chi responsible for the events that occur in their lives. Many people in the Ibo village sacrifice animals to Ani to entice a good harvest for the year. He is said to have appointed many smaller gods to help him because his work is too great for just one person. That's just how Agbala chooses to communicate with them: Ezinma herself is reported to be dying, and Chielo's sudden, imperious order unsettles them. The novel follows the life of its protagonist, an Igbo man named Okonkwo, a leader of the village of Umuofia. In Umuofia, the Oracle of the Hills and the Caves is also revered for her clairvoyance or supernatural insight into the future. As Umuofia's revered prophet, Chielo plays an important role in guiding the tribe and deciding the fate of villagers. It has major influences over Ibo government , farming , and even their superstitions. Chielo is the priestess of Agbala and is another well-known, important resident of Umuofia.
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