The Life of Olaudah Equiano

Why does Equiano begin the book with a description of his life and family in Isseke?

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One of the most salient aspects towards understanding the Narrative is the fact that Equiano was probably not born in Africa, and thus much of his account was fictional and based on the writings of Europeans. This chapter, and its treatise on the Iboe people (a more common denotation for this tribe), is most assuredly indebted to 18th century travel writings that Equiano would have been very familiar with. It is unlikely that Equiano would have remembered much about his home even if he had been born there; he wrote the Narrative at the age of forty-five, and was kidnapped at age ten. His name does not seem to be from the Iboe language, and the two specifically mentioned places, Essaka and Timnah, seem to have vanished from the maps.