Journal of
African Studies and Development

  • Abbreviation: J. Afr. Stud. Dev
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2189
  • DOI: 10.5897/JASD
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 238


The force of charms in Elechi Amadi's “The concubine” and “The great ponds”

  Labo Bouche Abdou        
 English Department, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, P. O. Box: 418, University Abdou Moumouni of Niamey, Niamey, Niger. 
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 02 December 2010
  •  Published: 31 December 2010



      Most often when people speak of fetish, enchantment or spell in traditional African societies, they refer to the inexplicable side of religious beliefs inherited from forebears. There are two kinds of fetishes: negative and positive. The first is a preparation destined to harm the enemy, while the second is concocted in order to heighten the merit of someone or his destiny. The preoccupation of Elechi Amadi while treating the theme of fetishes in The Concubine (1966) and The Great Ponds (1982) was, clearly bound to the geographical environment in which the author grew up, his cultural environment and the political events of the time, in this part of Africa. Throughout these two novels, Elechi Amadi insisted on the use, the role and the importance of fetishes in the African societies of the time. It was one of the proofs that denied the false prejudice of tabula rasa1. The Novelist demonstrated that before the arrival of the White, Africa was organized, contrary to the colonizer’s appreciation. Africans enjoyed a culture, a tradition and a civilization. The use of fetishes by Amadi was a form of expression of these traditional religious beliefs, in order to fight against the colonial prejudice stipulating that Africa was a dark continent, obscure and ignorant in all senses, in all domains and on all plans.


Key words: Fetishes, Dibia (seer), African.