Original

Igbo names and spellings for various settlements
Abakaliki is Abankaleke; Afikpo is Ehugbo; Awgu is Ogu; Awka is Oka; Bonny is Ubani; Enugu is Enugwu; Ibusa is Igbuzö; Igrita is Igwuruta; Oguta is Ugwuta; Onitsha is Onicha; Owerri is Owere; Oyigbo is Obigbo... any more will be added.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Lady of Igbariam

This is a cropped and coloured part of a larger picture of a young woman from Igbariam, photographed by Northcote Thomas, a British colonial government anthropologist, with brass and ivory jewellery.

With the unreformed colonial-era style education system and general thought, art is considered a frivolous endeavour, learning is completely tied to acquiring capital, and the local economy is neglected (everything’s imported). All of these factors have contributed to the loss of a few indigenous forms of craftsmanship and their markets. What also gets lost with the death of a particular kind of indigenous art form or craft are the ancient motifs, techniques, and design and technology associated with them.

In the Igbo worldview, art is the physical expression and embodiment of the spirit. Technical knowledge of a particular craft or art form was passed on from generation to generation under tutelage and mentorship. One art which seems to have disappeared in the Igbo area is jewellery making, indigenous blacksmithing in general is also in danger of disappearing.

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