Things Fall Apart

Explain the purpose of the following line as it relates to characterization:

"on great occasions such as the funeral of a village celebrity he drank his palm-wine from his first human head." Why would Achebe mention such an act in this novel? chapter 2

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It illustrates the power and "manliness" that Okonkwo has in the village.

Just in case the reader was not aware of the cultural gap between himself and the Ibo, he is introduced to Okonkwo's custom of drinking palm-wine out of a human skull. This short passage shows what Okonkwo values in a man. A man works hard, fights well, and honors the dead by drinking wine from a dead man's skull.