There’s no better symbol for the fallacies of imperialism than the hills of soil that Mama Tataba builds for the Prices’ garden in Kilanga. Mama Tataba knows from personal experience that the best way to grow hearty crops is to arrange the seeds with little piles of soil around each one, so that the seeds can withstands the heavy rains. But because of his arrogance, Nathaniel Price refuses to listen to Mama Tataba, and re-arranges the garden as soon as Mama Tataba is done with her work. When the rains come and Mama Tataba is proven correct, the hills of soil become a sinister symbol for the foolishness of the Western colonizers who arrived in Africa and ignored the African people’s experiences and ideas altogether.
The Hills of Soil Quotes in The Poisonwood Bible
Several days later, once Father had regained his composure and both his eyes, he assured me that Mama Tataba hadn’t meant to ruin our demonstration garden. There was such a thing as native customs, he said. We would need the patience of Job. “She’s only trying to help, in her way,” he said.