Social concepts in the initiation rituals of the Abatachoni: a historical study
Kakai, P. W.
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The study discusses the social concepts articulated in initiation rituals among Abatachoni between 1750 and 1946. An examination and analysis of some outstanding concepts is made with respect to ritual practices pertaining to circumcision, okhulichana, age-set systems, post initiation nomenclature, symbolism, militarism and smithing. In treating the movement of the above concepts from clan to clan and region to region, an attempt is made at tracing the origin, development and eventually spread of such concepts among Abatachoni and their neighbours. Furthermore, the study argues that the changing times, human agency and the natural environmental factors affected the movement and function of the concepts in initiation rituals. It also illustrates the mutuality of influences among Abatachoni and their neighbours. These influences engendered various cognitive and speculative dimensions in the communities. This work contends that in the colonial era initiation ritual ideas obtaining among Abatachoni got disrupted. As a consequence, certain ritual concepts dwindled while new ones emerged. The examples of those whose values and applicability dwindled include militaristic and pre-colonial nomenclature systems. But those values, which emerged, include the systems. But those values, which emerged, include the circumcision concept of olupao and Christian nomenclature systems. In going about the analysis, the study examines the data procured from the field and libraries within the structural- functionalist theoretical paradigm. It is the contention of the thesis that such paradigm is apt because of its provision for ritually based models. These models facilitate the thesis' treatment of religious, ritualistic and symbolic structures.