The Queen of Life and Death
Also known as: Ale
Origin: Ibo (Nigeria)
Ala is the daughter of Chi (also known as Chuku), the Supreme Creator, originator of spirits, people, animals, and all that lives. Chi is a remote Creator; Ala is the most significant Ibo spirit, mother, and guardian of the Ibo, their sacred custodian, a spirit of ethics and morality. She formed the Earth. Ala provides all that sustains life. If her children are peaceful and well behaved, Ala provides bountiful harvests from human wombs and from Earth, which is her womb. She is the Mistress of Life and Death.
Ala places babies into human wombs. When people die, they return to Earth, her womb. When Earth first emerged from primeval chaos, it was Ala who decreed that the dead should be buried in Earth. She guards and rules buried ancestors.
Petition Ala for human fertility and agricultural abundance.
Iconography: Painted clay representations of Ala traditionally depict her with a child seated on her knee, emphasizing her roles as mother and child-bringer.
Attributes: Yam knife; brass leg bracelets
Sacred bird: Hornbill