Ala (also known as Ani, Ana, Ale, and Ali in varying Igbo dialects) is the female Alusi (deity) of the earth, morality, fertility, and creativity in Odinani. She is the most important Alusi in the Igbo pantheon. In Odinani, Ala rules over the underworld and holds the deceased ancestors in her womb. Her name literally translates to 'Ground' in the Igbo language, denoting her powers over the earth and her status as the ground itself. The painting depicts her welcoming a deceased into the afterlife and it’s completely inspired by Michelangelo’s Pieta.