"He [osu] was a person dedicated to a god, a thing set apart - a taboo for ever, and his children after him."

The osu were outcasts in Igbo society.  They lived on the edge of the forest and were not allowed to cut their hair.  They could not take titles and were not allowed to marry or take shelter with a normal Igbo person.  Many of the osu saw the new Christian church as a place for refuge and as a place to be accepted.