AuthorFamule, Olawole Francis
AdvisorIvey, Paul E.
Committee ChairIvey, Paul E.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractAfrican art and spirituality are inseparable. Looking at it specifically from the visible, concrete, or tangible standpoint, the latter is nonexistent without the former, as the presence of the former validates the reality of the latter. The origin of this symbiotic relationship is in the Africans' ideology, in which they find it more convenient to establish communication with the transcendent or supernatural realm through visible devices that we label 'art'. Using the Ijumu Northeastern-Yoruba Egungun as a case study, this dissertation analyzes the place of art in African spirituality. Applying two conceptual frameworks--connective theory and linguistic approach, the dissertation first depicts this art as a reflection of African culture. Secondly, it reveals African art as essentially an assemblage or composite of diverse culturally defined and meaningful materials. Finally, it portrays art as a reliable form of historical and iconographical record of the African culture.In all, the dissertation comprises eight chapters. Chapter one introduces the reader to the research rationales, objectives, theory and methodology, and relevant previous studies. Chapter two concerns the place of art in Yoruba religious beliefs and practices within the larger context of African art and culture. Chapter three illustrates the inter-group relations in the Niger-Benue confluence region--the geographical location of the Ijumu Northeastern-Yoruba. Chapter four provides an overview of the cultural practices of the Ijumu people of the Ookun Yoruba-speaking groups. Chapter five focuses on the spirituality and performance contexts and the devotees' conceptualization of the Egungun as a religion.Chapter six is about iconographical interpretations of Egungun. Chapter seven illustrates the aesthetic implications with attention paid to the masquerade costumes as well as the performance contexts of the masquerades or masqueraders, drummers, singers, and more importantly, the aftermath of the ritual festival. Chapter eight is about critical perspectives on Ijumu-Yoruba Egungun within the larger context of the tradition among the entire Yoruba peoples. It highlights critical issues affecting the Egungun tradition today and the relevance of this dissertation to arresting their loss.
Degree ProgramHistory & Theory of Art