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Proverbs and worldviews: An analysis of Ikwo proverbs and their worldviews

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posted on 2023-08-30, 16:09 authored by Azubuike F. Onwe
This study explores Ikwo proverbs to examine traditional Ikwo worldview(s) that have so far been marginalized in academic research. Specifically, it aims to provide answers to the following research questions: 1. Which Ikwo worldview(s) are expressed in their proverbs? 2. Do such worldview(s) represent the interests of all social groups of the Ikwo society? 3. Why and how should Ikwo proverbs be taught in contemporary school curricula? The first chapter presents the motivational framework for the research. The second chapter reviews the literature, identifies the gap in knowledge and the research questions. Chapter three discusses the theoretical and methodological choices made for collecting and analysing data. Chapter four presents and analyses data for views expressed. Chapter five discusses the views identified in chapter four and the potential application of Ikwo proverbs in a programme of education likely to enhance their understanding and critical interrogation. The analysis has been guided by Winick’s model (2001) as well as the structuralist meaningby- opposition model of Lévi-Strauss (Duranti, 1997). The questionnaire analysis highlights that Ikwo proverbs reflected the views of the predominantly non-literate and rural dwelling male elders at the expense of those of other groups like women and youth. The interview analysis shows that many Ikwo proverbs disseminate views that tend to polarize the society while others tend to enhance consensus and community cohesion. The study identified the liminal space and the consensus-oriented proverbs that represent their views that have been marginalized in contemporary Igbo or other researches as its major contribution to knowledge. In addition to the major gaps in Ikwo research, there is currently no significant consideration of Ikwo proverbs in school or university curricula in Nigeria. This study argues, however, that such proverbs plus other proverbs that look at the full spectrum of Ikwo cultural heritage should be integrated in a programme of education likely to enhance the critical interrogation of key aspects of traditional knowledge and contribute to a reassessment of the importance of Ikwo language and culture, which might ultimately save it from extinction.



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