Prison was alien to traditional society. The penalty for offences that did not merit capital punishment was often ostracism: the exclusion from society for a season. This continued forever, for serious offences, or until the offender repented and made amends.

Covers: Things Fall Apart / The Extinction of Menai

It was a more subtle, but no less powerful, punishment than the banishment suffered by Okonkwo in Things Fall Apart. Ostracism left the victim present in community, but invisible to society. In The Extinction of Menai, ostracism went on steroids as Sheesti Kroma’s Menai people held her funeral, while she was still alive.

Did your culture have similar practices?   

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