A rite of initiation similar to a coming of age ceremony in Christianity. Teenage boys and girls choose the name of a saint to adopt as their own in addition to their given name.
A big, strong evergreen tree
Capital city of Enugu state in Nigeria
A shelf that holds small decorative objects
Also known as Anointing of the Sick, a blessing with oils performed for the gravely ill.
Fela Kuti, a prominent Nigerian musician and political activist who was jailed several times for the critical overtones of his music. The creator of Afrobeat, a musical genre blending jazz and funk with traditional African rhythms.
A flowering tree with fragrant blooms
A paste made from boiled starchy root vegetables. Fufu is often molded piece by piece into a utensil for soup and then eaten.
A grain or porridge made from the grain that is produced from the fermented mash of a cassava
A flowering tree with yellow fruit
A dry and duty wind
An ethnic group indigenous to northern Africa, or the language spoken by the Hausa people
A musical genre popular in Western Africa characterized by jazzy horns and guitar
An ethnic group indigenous to southeastern Nigeria, or the language spoken by the Igbo people
A royal figure in the village
a flowering shrub, similar to jasmine
Capable of being shaped by outside forces, pliable
A book containing instructions and texts for the celebration of Mass throughout the year
Masquerading spirits represented by a parade of masked men. They offer tributes to their ancestral spirits.
Steamed bean pudding
Currency in Nigeria
National Electric Power Authority, organization that regulates power usage
An intersection of three major roads near Enugu
A devotion consisting of a prayer repeated on nine successive days, asking to obtain special graces
A person who is specifically dedicated to God
Steamed pea paste
Onyeka Onwenu, a Nigerian singer, actress and politician
Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe, a popular Igbo highlife musician
Acetaminaphen, a painkiller
A series of prayers in traditional Catholic devotion. A rosary also refers to a strand consisting of a bead for every prayer recited in this series.
Cassock, an ankle-length robe worn by clergy
The extended family of one’s ancestral village
An often colorful piece of cloth that is worn by women in West African countries
Purple Hibiscus Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Purple Hibiscus is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
Papa was abusive to mama. She puts up with his violent and emotional abuse but cannot accept the abuse being directed at her children. Mama feels she has no option but to kill her husband to safeguard her children.
Aunty Ifeoma grows the purple hibiscus, a rare hybrid created by a botanist friend of hers. Jaja is drawn to the flowers when he arrives in Nsukka. For Jaja, the flowers represent freedom. Instead of just following what must be, Aunty Ifeoma's...