ALA: Also known as Ani, Ana is the female Alusi (deity) of the Earth, Morality, Death, Creativity, and Fertility in Igbo land.
She is the most important Alusi in the Igbo pantheon. It is believed that in her stomach is where the dead and the living is. The water that flows in and out of her represents the fountain of life and fertility she gives.
The python is one of Ala messenger, not only a Python, but there are other types of Animals which Igbo people worship that are also known as Ala’s messenger. Like
in some hometown in Enugu state they don’t kill or harm Green snake, Imerienwe in Ngor Okpala sees harming a monkey as an abomination.
There are other people that don’t kill Snail, Monkey, Fish e.t.c
Ala is considered the highest Alusi in the Igbo pantheon and was the first Alusi created by Chukwu, God almighty.
Ala’s husband is Amadioha, the sky god. She is also involved in judging human actions and is in charge of Igbo law and customs known as ‘Omenala’.
Taboos and crimes among Igbo communities that are against the standard of Ala are called nsọ Ala.
All ground is considered ‘Holy land’ as it is Ala herself, With human fertility.
When a person commits a taboo in a community, it means that he has also desecrated or insulted Ala as the abomination (called Aru Ala, Alu Ani) was committed on her earth. She is responsible for many aspects of Igbo society, and guardianship of women and children in general, Her symbol is the crescent moon which means Bringing forth and Creativity to the world.
It is believed that the souls of the dead reside in her sacred womb. All in the community have to respect Ala as everybody lives on Ala, the earth.
It was sometime believed that Ala could swallow you up into the underground.