African gods: Ala, the supreme mother of the Igbos

African gods: Ala, the supreme mother of the Igbos

Ala is the mother of morality, death, fertility, and all things. Ala, Ani, Ana, or Ali depending on the variation of the Igbo dialect is the earth goddess.

Ala means the ground. Ala is the foremost among the Igbo pantheons.

She is the daughter of the supreme god, Chukwu, and is married to Amadioha, the sky god.
The goddess of planting and harvest

She is vital in the Igbo’s timing of planting and harvest. She is appeased and prayed to bring a good harvest and worshipped during the yam festival.

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Ala gives and Ala takes

Ala is the one who gives life (children) and makes them grow well in the womb. She is believed to have a womb and receives people back to her womb when they die.

Ala decides what is wrong or right

Ala is the moral judge. She decides what is good or bad and judges human actions. Her laws are called Omenala, crimes and taboos against her are Nso Nla.

If a person sees army ants in their dream and does not rectify the wrongs they have done, Ala would send army ants to attack such a person.

Ala’s messenger on earth is the python. That is why the python is revered in Igbo culture.

Mbari is her dwelling place on earth

In Owerri, a building called Mbari is built to honor Ala. These are large square buildings made of mud or cement that house the statues of Ala.

There are other sculptures in these buildings like craftsmen, Europeans, animals, and beasts.

She is typically seen with children on her knees while holding a sword. Her worshippers come to worship her bearing gifts.

African gods is a series on the mythology of African gods and goddesses.


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