Children of Blood and Bone

Children of Blood and Bone

by

Tomi Adeyemi

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Mama Agba Character Analysis

Mama Agba, Zélie’s teacher, trains young women in Illorin to wield the staff—a self-defensive weapon she hopes they will never have to use. She helps sustain memories of the gods and other traditions that existed before the Raid. She carefully conceals her status as a powerful maji and was able to escape the Raid by disguising her true identity as a seer.

Mama Agba Quotes in Children of Blood and Bone

The Children of Blood and Bone quotes below are all either spoken by Mama Agba or refer to Mama Agba. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Prejudice and Inequality Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Henry Holt and Co. edition of Children of Blood and Bone published in 2018.
Chapter One Quotes

Deep down, I know the truth. I knew it the moment I saw the maji of Ibadan in chains. The gods died with our magic.

Related Characters: Zélie (speaker), Mama Agba
Page Number: 15
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Five Quotes

You must protect those who can’t defend themselves. Mama Agba’s words from this morning seep into my head.

Related Characters: Zélie (speaker), Amari, Tzain, Mama Agba
Page Number: 58
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Children of Blood and Bone LitChart as a printable PDF.
Children of Blood and Bone PDF

Mama Agba Character Timeline in Children of Blood and Bone

The timeline below shows where the character Mama Agba appears in Children of Blood and Bone. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter One
Prejudice and Inequality Theme Icon
Cycles of Violence Theme Icon
...they are fighting—which only excites fiery Zélie’s anger more. Ignoring the warnings of their teacher, Mama Agba , the two girls fly at each other with more passion, both landing powerful hits. (full context)
Prejudice and Inequality Theme Icon
Faith and Tradition Theme Icon
Suddenly, the match comes to a halt as a girl warns that guards are approaching. Mama Agba and the students swiftly hide the fighting materials and make it appear as if they... (full context)
Cycles of Violence Theme Icon
When Zélie bursts out in protest, a guard threatens her. Mama Agba pays the guard, narrowly avoiding a confrontation. Afterwards, Mama Agba scolds Zélie, who says she... (full context)
Prejudice and Inequality Theme Icon
Mama Agba begins to tell a familiar story: in the past, the land of Orïsha was home... (full context)
Cycles of Violence Theme Icon
After the other students leave, Mama Agba holds Zélie back. She expects to be beaten for her impulsiveness, but instead, Mama Agba... (full context)
Chapter Five
Duty to Family vs. Self Theme Icon
...knowing she will be killed if they are caught. But, thinking of her training with Mama Agba , she realizes she has a responsibility to help those who can’t defend themselves. (full context)
Chapter Nine
Duty to Family vs. Self Theme Icon
Zélie, Tzain, and Amari arrive at Mama Agba ’s home in Illorin. They find Baba asleep there. Tzain scoops up his father and... (full context)
Prejudice and Inequality Theme Icon
To Zélie’s surprise, the scroll awakens Mama Agba ’s magic. Zélie had assumed she was a kosidán because she lacks the divîner’s characteristic... (full context)
Prejudice and Inequality Theme Icon
Faith and Tradition Theme Icon
Mama Agba says some words in Yoruba, the language  the maji use to communicate with the gods.... (full context)
Faith and Tradition Theme Icon
Light explodes between Mama Agba ’s hands, and Zélie suddenly feels that the gods have been with them all along.... (full context)
Chapter Ten
Prejudice and Inequality Theme Icon
Duty to Family vs. Self Theme Icon
Cycles of Violence Theme Icon
...and the only way to ensure their safety is to fight back. Tearfully, Baba and Mama Agba bid goodbye to the three teenagers. On Nailah’s back, they ride into the night. (full context)