SYMBOLIC ANALYSIS OF COMMUNALISM IN THE TRAINING OF IGBO CHILD AS MIRRORED IN IGBO ANIMAL TALES
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Igede Igbo. A Journal of Igbo Studies.
This study aims at the abstractions of some symbols in Igbo animal tales as they apply to communalism and the implication of such symbols in the training of the Igbo child. Symbols are necessary because the aims of literature are to say succinctly, what would have been said in more words in order to achieve maximum effectiveness. Symbolism in literature is one of the tools that narrators and writers in both oral and written literature employ in order to create different levels of meaning. It is an intelligent and skilful way of reflecting a particular character, object, utterance or meaning in a work of art. Symbolism, as an art in skilful narration is evident in Igbo tales about animals. Animal tales are one of the major categories of tales found in Igbo folktales. Folktales, beyond entertainment, is one of the means of education and orientation for children in Igbo society; yet not much effort has been made to ensure and analyse the symbols abstracted from the tales. Most of the tales have been compiled and published as books; therefore this study will focus on six compilations of such publications of Igbo folktales. The study is analytical. The result of this study shows that the communal symbols in the animal tales appear in form of meetings, taking decisions together, settling disputes, building houses, communal ownership of things such as market, farms, and hospitals, rendering assistance, marriages among others. If the symbols are properly analysed, it will be a vital instrument in youth training, education and orientation. The study therefore recommends that further researches should be geared towards the abstraction of other forms of symbols in Igbo folktales.
symbolism, communalism, oral, animal tales, literature, folktale, culture.