Uhamiri deity and women: a study of Flora Nwapa’s Efuru and Idu
Research has shown that, amongst the Igbo people of Eastern Nigeria, there is still a strong committal to traditional religious belief in spite of the over one hundred and fifty years of Christianity in the region (Onuh, 1996 and Asoga, 2008). In this regard therefore, it is not surprising that Flora Nwapa presents the Igbo people as having strong beliefs in the activities of deities and spirits in her novels, Efuru and Idu. The female deity, Uhamiri, is depicted in these novels as participating in the day to day activities of the people in the community especially, in the lives of women characters. And since this supernatural goddess is able to participate in the day to day activities of women, she is able to inflict pains through acts of oppression on her subordinate mortals. It is to address this seemingly unlikely but crucial aspect of relationship between female characters and a female deity, that this study pre-occupies itself.