Binti

by

Nnedi Okorafor

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Edan is a general term for an electronic device that’s too old to be useable; Binti’s edan, which she can’t figure out how to use for much of her life, suddenly allows her to communicate with the Meduse.

Edan Quotes in Binti

The Binti quotes below are all either spoken by Edan or refer to Edan. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Tom Doherty edition of Binti published in 2015.
Binti Quotes

Inside, I smiled. Government security guards were only educated up to age ten, yet because of their jobs, they were used to ordering people around. And they especially looked down on people like me. Apparently, they were the same everywhere, no matter the tribe. He had no idea what a “computative apparatus” was, but he didn’t want to show that I, a poor Himba girl, was more educated than he. Not in front of all these people.

Related Characters: Binti (speaker)
Page Number: 19
Explanation and Analysis:

In my culture, it is blasphemy to pray to inanimate objects, but I did it anyway. I prayed to a metal even my father had been unable to identify. I held it to my chest, shut my eyes, and I prayed to it, I am in your protection. Please protect me.

Related Characters: Binti (speaker), Heru, Okwu, Binti’s Father
Page Number: 24
Explanation and Analysis:

“Evil thing,” I heard the one called Okwu say. Of all the voices, that one I could recognize. It was the angriest and scariest. The voice sounded spoken, not transmitted in my mind. I could hear the vibration of the “v” in “evil” and the hard breathy “th” in “thing.” Did they have mouths?

Related Characters: Okwu (speaker), Binti (speaker)
Page Number: 42
Explanation and Analysis:

I frowned at it. Realizing something. It spoke like one of my brothers, Bena. I was born only three years after him yet we’d never been very close. He was angry and always speaking out about the way my people were maltreated by the Khoush majority despite the fact that they needed us and our astrolabes to survive. He was always calling them evil, though he’d never traveled to a Khoush country or known a Khoush. His anger was rightful, but all that he said was from what he didn’t truly know.

Related Characters: Binti (speaker), Okwu, Bena
Page Number: 54
Explanation and Analysis:
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Binti PDF

Edan Term Timeline in Binti

The timeline below shows where the term Edan appears in Binti. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Binti
Science, Humanity, and the Ethics of Research Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Binti pulls her hair to the front and touches the edan concealed in her pocket. It’s a strange device of odd metal and with a strange... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Science, Humanity, and the Ethics of Research Theme Icon
...is happier than ever. She eats a savory dessert, watches Heru, and messes with her edan. Two friends are singing a song from home when suddenly, someone screams. Heru’s chest explodes,... (full context)
Science, Humanity, and the Ethics of Research Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
...and tentacles that spill to the floor. Binti can hear them breathe. She pulls her edan closer and prays to it to protect her again. Everyone else is dead. The Meduse’s... (full context)
Science, Humanity, and the Ethics of Research Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Back in the present, Binti opens her eyes and clutches the edan to her chest. The Meduse in front of her is blue, except for one tentacle... (full context)
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
...few more times, and Binti shrieks for it to leave her alone. She grabs her edan and hears an angry hiss outside. Binti wracks her mind to try to find a... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Science, Humanity, and the Ethics of Research Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
...otjize smells like home and Binti thinks she never should’ve left. She picks up the edan again, and when she hears a thump on the door, she mutters for whatever’s out... (full context)
Community, Friendship, and Belonging Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
...calls to Okwu to talk with her. She looks down at her hands on the edan and knows that she’s creating the current coming from it. It’s the strongest she’s ever... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Community, Friendship, and Belonging Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
...out of provisions. She tries to stay busy, but doing anything is difficult since the edan’s current sticks her hands to the device. When she takes breaks from packing and unpacking,... (full context)
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
...It returns a few minutes later with five other Meduse. Okwu asks again about the edan. Binti shares that a woman once told her it’s made of “god stone,” but Okwu... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Science, Humanity, and the Ethics of Research Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
...fish and a bowl of water right in front of her face. Still gripping the edan, she struggles to drink the water and then get the fish to her mouth. She... (full context)
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
...next to the chief to show Binti which one it is. The current from the edan branches wildly in every direction, bringing Binti the Meduse’s words. (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Community, Friendship, and Belonging Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Binti closes her eyes and focuses on the edan’s current. She can hear that the floor is humming to itself and she sits up.... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Community, Friendship, and Belonging Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
...out that human females are great at hiding. Okwu suggests that Binti put down the edan, making herself vulnerable to the Meduse. Terrified, Binti shrieks that the edan is how they... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Community, Friendship, and Belonging Theme Icon
Binti says that the Meduse are right: she can’t represent them while holding the edan. Someone at Oomza Uni would no doubt know everything about the edan and know it... (full context)
Community, Friendship, and Belonging Theme Icon
...room, naked except for her skirt and smothered in otjize. She sits up, and the edan rolls off her chest. Now, it’s back to being blue and dull. The spot where... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Community, Friendship, and Belonging Theme Icon
...the Himba. Okwu sounds less and less monstrous. It leads Binti out. Binti leaves the edan behind. (full context)
Science, Humanity, and the Ethics of Research Theme Icon
Community, Friendship, and Belonging Theme Icon
...next to him, Okpala, is in the mathematics department and will help Binti study her edan—from what Okpala knows, Binti shouldn’t have been able to do what she did with the... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
...says that she wants to study mathematics so she can make astrolabes and understand her edan. Okpala clarifies and asks Binti if she’ll ever go home; she knows of the Himba... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
...clay. One evening, she walks into the forest in search of clay. She takes her edan with her and squeezes it, feeling naked because her otjize is so thin. Binti stops,... (full context)