Towards Preserving Igala Proverbs for Character Molding

The essence of proverbs in Igala society is to mold and reform man morally, philosophically, psychologically and to position him to response positively to the demand of the environment wherever he lives. Proverbs are believed to be the prerogatives of the elders, and as such every elder is believed to be a teacher of this core traditional value, and expected to preserve the teachings and hand over same to their children with a view to retaining its content, validity, aptness, applicability, relevance and continued usages among the growing minds, as anything short of these, occasioned by any reason is considered a violation of the Igala belief system. With proverbs as instruments of training young minds for tasks of leadership and other roles in the society, this study examines the roles of proverbs in molding and reforming characters of Igala children and how to bequeath this fundamental aspect of their culture to the younger generations in its original patterns as a way to reduce effect of modern games on the belief system of Igala culture, strengthening their traditional institutions for effective function, correct social wrongs inherent in western culture and raise their children in already established scope of Igala proverbs. For the method, the data used for the research were got through participant observations and interviews. The data collected were analyzed with the instrumentality of descriptive research tool. The work was anchored on 1986 Relevance Theory (RT) propounded by Dan-Sperber and Wilson. The work uses selected proverbs common within the reach of Ogugu, Ibaji and Ankpaextractionsto present the dedicative and reforming significance in Igala proverbs.

Keywords: Igala proverbs, preservation, character molding, character reformation, and Traditional Institutions.