Ala (Ale, Ali) Igbo (Nigeria) The earth goddess and goddess of fertility; daughter of the Supreme God, Chuku. Although Chuku created human souls, he was a distant god. In contrast, Ala—considered the mother of the Igbo people—was close to humans. Everything came from her; she bore the Earth from her womb and took Earth’s people under her protection. As the goddess of fertility, Ala made the seed in women’s wombs grow. She gave children life and watched over them throughout their lives. As ruler of the underworld, she accepted the dead into her body (the earth) and ruled over the ancestors buried there. When the dead were buried, the Igbo believed that they turned into earth and became united with Ala. See also Igbo pantheon. Alatangana See Kono creation account.
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