Sunday, May 30, 2010

One Big Family: Sharing Life in an African Village - Ifeoma Onyefulu

Illustrated by Photographs
Frances Lincoln Children's Books, 1996
28 pages
For: anyone interested in Africa or Nigeria
Rating: topnotch
Endpapers; Brown handmade-looking paper with large black stenciled designs

Of all the reading I've been doing about Africa, this has been one of the most informative and interesting.

Eastern Ethiopian villages have ogbos (or-BOs), which are groups of people of the same five-year age span. They exist as almost a part of the family unit, and members are always a part of that ogbo, no matter how old they become or where they live. Each ogbo has different jobs to help the community, from cleaning and tending and caring to building and ruling the village. In some villages, ogbos ange spans may be just one year, or two, but in Obioma's village of Awkuzu, ogbos have a five year age span.

So we get to see, and visualize (because of Onyefulu's lovely photography) what life in an eastern Ethiopian village looks like. This was a meanignful, helpful glance into a way-of-life that most Americans can only imagine, and it was like a gift. I loved it.

I'm on the way to the library right now to find more of her books. Thank you, Ifeoma Onyefulu!

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