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Creating Sculptural Forms Inspired By The Ijele Masquerade

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Creating Sculptural Forms Inspired By The Ijele Masquerade.

ABSTRACT  

The cultural identity of African people is gradually dying, scholars like Ikwuemesi (2000) believes that; the influx of western ways of life threatened the continued existence of the foundation of Igbo culture. The situation worsened, given to the fact that most parts of Igbo land were reduced to ruins during the 1967 – 1970 Nigeria-Biafra civil war, they embraced the western way of life, thereby neglecting their precious and priceless cultural practices.

This is also evidenced in the gradual dwindling and extinction of the masquerade practices, and has equally become obvious in the so-called technological advancement, and unperfected technological growth which has led to many system failures. Some Igbo cultural practices absorbed the Western way of life into its cultural activity in sustenance of her practices like the Ijele masquerade.

An Ijele of 1950 differs from that of 2016 because the Ijele‟s of 1950 and 2016 represent what is obtainable during their time and technological development. This research created sculptural forms from the Ijele masquerade and also created awareness on masquerade activity especially the Ijele masquerade, even though this cultural activity tried to blend with the modern time, people still see the practice as being fetish.

The problem of this study is that visual artists, have not explored the individual forms that make up the Ijele masquerade, and they have not been able to isolate and study these forms, artists have also not carefully considered the philosophical, and artistic perspectives inherent in the Ijele form for sculptural dialogue. 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Tile Page……………………………………………………………………………………………i
Declaration………………………………………………………………………………….……..ii
Certification…………………………………………………………………………………….…iii
Dedication………………………………………………………………………………….……..iv
Acknowledgements………………………………………………………………………………..v
Abstract……………………………………………………………………………………….….vii
Table of Content…………………………………………………………………………………..ix
List of Figures…………………………………………………………………………………….xiii
List of Plates…………………………………………………………………………………….xiv
Appendix…………………………………………………………………………………………xx
Definition of Terms………………………………………………………………………………xxi

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background of the Study……………………..…………..…..…………………………………3
1.2 Statement of the problem……………………..………..…………………………………….11
1.3 Aim and Objective of the study……………..……………………………………………..…11
1.4 Research Questions…………………………………………………………………………..12
1.5 Justification of the Study……………………………………………….…………………….12
1.6 Significance of the Study………………………………………..……………………………12
1.7 Scope of the Study……………………………………………………………………………13
1.8 Conceptual Frame work………………………………………………………………………13

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Introduction………………………………………………………………………………….15
2.2.1(a) Concept of Universality…………………………………………………………………15
2.2.2 (b) Mask, Masquerade and Igbo Cosmology…………………..…………………………..20
2.2.3 ( c) Types and Classification of Igbo Masquerades………………..………………………29
2.2.4 (d) The secrecy of Masquerade…………………………………………………………….39
2.2.5(e) Ijele as a Symbol of Conceit and Authority to the Northern Anambra Igbo…..………44
2.2.6(f) The Paraphernalia‟s of the Ijele and its Significance…..……………………………….46
2.3 Review of Artists, Artworks Ideas and Philosophy………………………………………….51
2.3.2 Lee Laurie………………………………………………………………………………….52
2.3.3 Emeral Magpie……………………………………………………………………………..54
2.3.4 Ken Okoli…………………………………………………………………………………..56
2.3.5 ChidiOkoye………………………………………………………………………………..58
2.3.6 Godwin Nwajei…………………………………………………………………………….60
2.3.7 Peter Akinwunmi…………………………………………………………………………..62
2.3.8 FranklinEgwali…………………………………………………………………………….64
2.3.9 Bruce Onobrakpeya………………………………………………………….…………….65
2.3.10 OdungideEkpo……………………………………………………………………………67
2.3.11 Rueben Ugbine……………………………………………………………………………68
2.3.12 Philip LexieNzekwe………………………………………………………………………70
2.3.13 LamidiFakeye……………………………………………………………………………71
2.3.14 Cliff Nwanna………………………………………………………………………………74
2.3.15 KunleAdeyemi……………………………………………………………………….…..76
2.3.16 Suzanne Wenger………………………………………………………………………….77
2.4 Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………………79

CHAPTER THREE:RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1 Introduction…………………………………………………………………………………..80
3.2 Art Practice – Based Research……………………………………………………………….80
3.3 Reference to Established Artist/Methodology……………………………………………….83
3.3.1 Research Instruments………………………………………………………………………84
3.3.2 Source of Ideas……………………………………………………………………………..84
3.3.3 Procedures………………………………………………………………………………….87
3.3.3.1 Procedures Undertaken During the Studio Exploration………………………………….87
3.3.3.2 Observation………………………………………………………………………………87
3.3.3.3 Photography……………………………………………………………………..……….88
3.3.3.4 Drawings…………………………………………………………………………………91
3.3.3.5 Materials……………………………………………………………………………..…101
3.3.3.6 Fabricated Tools…………………………………………………………………………105
3.3.3.7 Studio Exploration (Welding)………………………………………………….………106
3.3.3.8 Surface Painting…………………………………………………………………………107
3.3.3.9 Cladding……………………………………………………………………………..….107
3.3.3.10 Trimming the edges of the Fabric before Sewing……………………………………..110
3.3.3.11 Sewing and Finishing………………………………………………………………….110
3.3.3.12 Creating holes for ease of sewing……………………………………………………..111
3.3.3.13 Uses of NnganaNnako (Needle and Hook)…………………………………………..113
3.3.3.14 Prudent in sewing………………………………………………………………………114
3.3.3.15 Weather effect on Fabric, it excess glue is not cleaned……………………………….116
3.3.3.16 Patina Finishing……………………………………………………………………….116
3.3.4.1 Experimental Stage……………………………………………………………………..117
3.3.4.2 Further Studio Exploration……………………………………………………………..117

CHAPTER FOUR: DISCUSSION
4.1 Introduction…………………………………………………………………………………129
4.2 Integrating Uli Symbols on the welded sculpture…………………………………………..131
4.3 Colour and its symbolism in the Ijele masquerade…………………………………………144
4.4 Actualized works and Interpretations………………………………………………………146

CHAPTER FIVE: CURATORIAL STATEMENT
5.1 Introduction…………………………………………………………………………………187
5.2 Catalogue of works…………………………………………………………………………189
5.3 Portfolio…………………………………………………………………………………….190

CHAPTER SIX: SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
6.1 Summary……………………………………………………………………………………203
6.2 Findings based on the five objectives………………………………………………………205
6.3 Conclusion………………………………………………………………………………….207
6.4 Recommendations…………………………………………………………………………..208
6.5 Contribution to Knowledge…………………………………………………………………209

References………………………………………………………………………………………210

BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

The originof the Omambala people is not quite clear. History has it that as a result of Exodus, mass movement of the tribe of Israel, following the instruction from God, which led to the migration from Egyptto various parts of the world. Some of them came to the confluence of Rivers Niger, known as Oma Mbala River. According to 2006 Census, Omambala people were more than four million, and ranked 10th of the 36 states of the federation (Jannah, 2014).

Anambra State is an anglicised version of the original Oma Mbala; the native name of the Anambra River. The origin of its name is derived from the Anambra River (Omambala) which is a tributary of the famous River Niger. The capital and the seat of government are at Awka, Onitsha and Nnewi which are the biggest commercial and industrial cities. The indigenous ethnic groups in Anambra state are the Igbos, which forms 89% of the population and a small population of 2% of the Igala, who live mainly at the north-western part of the state.

The people of Anambra State share boundaries with Delta State to the West, Imo State and Rivers State to the South, Enugu State to the East and Kogi State to the North. This northern part of the Omambala area is where the Ijele masquerade activity is most popular,(Maduagwu, 2013).Figs. 1 and 2. Olottah (personal communication, March 03, 2015)stated that; “Ijele was originally intended to scare away the early missionaries who came to Igbo Land. The masquerade also is engaged in the celebration of royalty and greatness in Igbo land”. 

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