"The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano" depicts an 18th century African society that has many similarities and also several differences to the modern day teachings of what African culture was like at that time period. Some of the major points of contrast were found to exist in the marriage dowry, polygamy, and religion. .
Equiano explains that the way in which people were married was to first be betrothed at a young age. After this a series of feasts would take place were the bride was then declared to be the wife of the bridegroom. Once the wife was considered completely to be the property of the husband a dowry was given to the couple. This account of the marriage process illustrates the similarities between Equiano's account and the information found in the textbook "A History of World Societies", which teaches that a dowry is customarily given to a married couple. .
Equiano also mentions a reference to polygamy, which is consistent with the textbook. However, he doesn't say that polygamy was necessarily practiced as a sign of wealth. Instead he states "The men however do not preserve the same constancy to their wives which they expect from them, for they indulge in a plurality, though seldom more than two." He made it sound as if he was referring to the practice of polygamy as the men indulging in their desires. However, this may have been mostly due to the fact that he was exposed to European culture for the greater part of his life where this type of practice would be unacceptable. A European influence would explain why he may have .
saw this as a more negative practice whereas it would be considered a sign of wealth and prosperity in African culture.
Another point of comparison that was found was the religion of the Ibo people. Equiano says that "the natives believe that there is one Creator of all things." This belief in one Creator demonstrates that the Ibo were basically a monotheistic people.