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Archaeology and Traditional Mural Painting in Nsukka Area of Northern Igboland

By Institute Of African Studies, University Of Nigeria, Nsukka.


It has been observed that most artistic ideas in wood, clay, and metals in Igboland are expressed through traditional mural painting symbols which convey important lexical messages. According to Willis(1987) “the Igbo woman’s perception of all aspects of life and nature and most notably ideas and objects which are held to be particularly important and representative of Igbo culture are translated into visual vocabulary which provides important reference material for designers, art historians, engineers and ethnographers alike”. This paper, therefore, seeks to bring to limelight , how the culture of Nsukka people and Igbo in general is expressed through the study of their traditional architectural wall paintings rendered in thorough naturally made indelible ink of “Uli” (black indigo), “Nzu”(natural clay), “Ufie”(red ochre gotten from plants), charcoal and other natural dyes in the form of leaves. These motifs touch on all aspects of Igbo life and serves as ethnographic evidence for studying the cultural history of the area in the absence of direct core archaeological evidence. The method applied in the course of carrying out this research is ethnographic method. This involves the collection of oral information from the extant members of the community that are knowledgeable in the topic of research. Primary secondary sources of information were used. The primary source of data came from oral tradition collected, while the secondary source came from documented literature on the topic of research. Pictures were also used for clarity sake.
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About the Author

Institute Of African Studies, University Of Nigeria, Nsukka.

Institute Of African Studies, University Of Nigeria, Nsukka.


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