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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://bsuir.bsum.edu.ng:8080/jspui/handle/11409/386

Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: NONE
Citation: NONE
Series/Report no.: NONE;NONE
Abstract: Swem is a religio-cultural phenomenon that is strongly alive within Tiv society. The subject of Swem largely covers the total life of the Tiv reflecting the areas of religion, cultural anthropology, psychology, and philosophy. Yet, it is shrouded in ignorance among the youth and some adults of the contemporary Tiv society. The aim and objectives of the research were to explore the concept of Swem in all its ramifications, establishing the origin, meaning, language symbolism, and the religious and cultural significance of Swem among the Tiv. The methodology of the research was divided into two parts; the data collection procedure and the data analysis. In the data collection procedure, materials were derived from oral and literary sources while in the data analysis, a hybrid of methodology comprising phenomenological, anthropological, historical and descriptive methods were explored on the concept of Swem. The research work began by giving a background to the study.This comprised of a general introduction, a statement of the problem, the aims and objectives, the significance and scope of the study, and the organisation of the work. The research looked at existing literature on the subject of Swem and went further into the world of symbolism to create an increased understanding of Swem as a symbol. The second segment of the discourse, a historical perspective of the Tiv of Benue State, examined their historical origins, migrations, their character, social structure and organistion as well as religious world-view. The study explored also the concept of Swem in all its ramifications including the myth and history of Swem, types of Swem emblems, qualifications for dressing a Swem symbol, the conditions for dressing the Swem emblem (Swem u wuhan), and the modes of administering Swem symbol to obtain traditional justice. Furthermore, the study delved into the ritual symbolism of Swem. This segment of the work uncovered the symbolic ritual constituents of the Swem emblem and the symbolic language which the Swem speaks. The study looked at the Swem 's abode and its contemporary significance. The role of the Swem emblem in the historical, socio-cultural and religious life of the Tiv was also explored. The study looked at the changing status and the decline in the practice of Swem, and the question of the efficacy of Swem arising from the impact of modernity. The final aspect of the work presented a summary of the findings, recommendations and the conclusion. The findings of the study revealed, among other things, that Swem is a place, a deity, a symbol, an Akombo cult, and an oath taking emblem. The work also revealed that there exist nexus between Swem practice and other Tiv religious practices such as Tsav (witchcraft), Akombo (rituals) and Adz6v (nature spirits), which pervade the metaphysical universe of the Tiv and constitute Gba 'a ondo and also, tradition. In view of these findings, the study recommends that Swem should always be administered under strict Tiv tradition by those qualified to do so. It should not be exposed to the public under the full gaze of cameras to avoid its bastardization and profanity and to restore its dignity. In conclusion, the researcher argues that, despite the decline in the practice of Swem due to the advent of modernity, chiefly Christianity, the concept remains the same as Swem is still the Tiv sacred religious symbol of unity, authority, power and justice.
URI: http://bsuir.bsum.edu.ng:8080/jspui/handle/11409/386
Appears in Collections:Religion and Cultural Studies

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