WIT Press


Indigenous Art And Nigerian Contemporary Residential Architecture

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/STR070131

Volume

95

Pages

11

Published

2007

Size

1,038 kb

Author(s)

C. O. Osasona

Abstract

Decoration in the building process of traditional African cultures is spontaneous, and the practice institutionalized. With \“vernacular” practices, architectural decoration becomes even more observable. However, the previous spontaneity has given way to considerations of status-related factors. The paper discusses the traditional/vernacular architecture of various ethnic groupings in Nigeria, and the decoration associated with each, in the light of the socio-cultural context of their motifs. The cumulative, positive environmental impact of the practice is also discussed. It is submitted that though there is a decline in architectural decoration, not only is a revival possible, but it is actually ongoing, featuring contemporary expressions of traditional themes, harnessed to modern architecture. This trend may well help in evolving a contemporary, truly Nigerian, residential typology, fine-tuned along specific ethnic socio-cultural lines. Keywords: indigenous Nigerian art, vernacular Nigerian architecture, spontaneous ornamentation, complementary art, celebrated entrance gates, architectural decoration, Afro-Brazilian, earth murals, gwani, fence design. 1 Introduction All over the African continent, before the advent of colonialism, indigenous building practices and forms were largely the product of environmental impositions and socio-cultural considerations. The latter ranged from occupational requirements, through religious and social value systems, to pragmatic issues like family size. Inherent in many of these routine building processes, was spontaneous decoration.

Keywords

indigenous Nigerian art, vernacular Nigerian architecture, spontaneous ornamentation, complementary art, celebrated entrance gates, architectural decoration, Afro-Brazilian, earth murals, gwani, fence design.