Twin Phobia: A Hard Nut to Crack Among Haya Communities?
In many parts of Africa, twin births were generally and are still events believed to be of extraordinary importance. Traditional African beliefs tend to give twins a special position as sacred monsters and subject them to a variety of ritual celebrations. The different versions of the dogon myth of the creation of the world tell about the symbolic events that led to the separation of the Heaven and the Earth, of gods and the first men on earth, of female and men of religious leaders and other inhabitants. In Achebe’s book, Things Fall Apart that he published in 1958 that has become a staple in literary, history, anthropological and sociology studies, the Earth goddess decreed that the twins were an abomination among the Igbo of Nigeria and, hence, required destruction; otherwise, the community risked suffering the wrath of the goddess should the twins be allowed to live. Consequently, when twins were born among the Igbo, members of the community put them in pots who abandoned them in the ‘evil forest’ to shiver and cry to death.