There have been series of historical and visual documentations on motifs for body decoration in Nigeria like, the Onyyaa body markings of Bekwarra in South- South of Nigeria, Uli forms and patterns of the Igbo in the South-East of Nigeria, Ona Yoruba patterns in the South- Western part of Nigeria and Durbar decorative motifs of Northern Nigeria among others. There are also historical documentations on the Kambari culture, but it appears that there is no known study on Kambari body markings for exploration in painting, a situation that informs the problem of the study. Postmodernist‟s minimalists‟ art concept was adopted as a conceptual framework and studio- practice- led research methodology based on artistic visual interaction with the subject has been employed as a research design. Data was collected through primary and secondary sources. The works produced are shown as plates and grouped into four categories and analyzed. Consequently, the study identified different Kambari body markings for the purpose of exploring in painting. It also transformed Kambari body markings from organic to conceptual stage in painting. This study finds out that the researcher‟s paintings at the conceptual stage look like impressionist suggestion of objects in a motion. This appears like a flight. Forms also dissolved into the background leaving empty spaces when emphasis is placed on the motifs. The study concludes that motifs are aesthetically appealing, flexible and possess intrinsic quality for exploration and fusion into postmodern forms in painting.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Table of Content————————————————————————————–vi
List of figures—————————————————————————————–vii
List of plates—————————————————————————————–viii
1.2 Background of the study————————————————————————-3
1.3 statement of the problem————————————————————————4
1.4 Aim and objectives of the study—————————————————————-4
1.5 Research Questions——————————————————————————-5
1.6 Significance of the study————————————————————————-5
1.7 Justification of the study————————————————————————-5
1.8 Scope of the study——————————————————————————–6
1.9 conceptual Framework—————————————————————————6
2.0 Review of Literature—————————————————————————–8
2.2 Kambari ethnic group—————————————————————————-8
2.3 Kambari cultural system————————————————————————-9
2.4 Kambari patterns and motifs——————————————————————-11
2.5 Review of related works————————————————————————19
3.3 Place of material———————————————————————————42
3.4 Data collection———————————————————————————–42
4.0 Cataloguing and Analysis of works———————————————————-49
4.2 Categorization of works————————————————————————49
4.2.4 Dissolution/ Conceptual———————————————————————-74
5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation———————————————83
The art of making decorative patterns on the skin is an ancient practice in Africa that is now gradually fading away. In some African cultures, where body marking is practiced, the type of marks on a person‟s face indicates a person‟s rank, clan or cult in the society. In some of these cultures, it is also used to improve a person‟s physical beauty, and each social group defined its own rules about body decoration. Typically, the marks were made as repeated patterns that covered most part of the body skin. Body decoration is seen as a way of communicating specific ideas and this tradition is still being advocated and practiced by several cultures and people. The dimension and scope of body markings dependent on the people, community or society, facial and body markings in most Nigerian cultures are either permanent or temporary. These markings, given to a child at a very tender age, validate the position of Eyo (1977) that in Africa, there is no such thing as art for art sake. The reason is that body markings (aside their other functions) serve as a mark for identifying a person‟s lineage.
Negri, Jefferson and Adepegba in Sani (1995) observe that, in Benin Kingdom, some young children and even to a large extent members of the royal family are tattooed to adorn their chest and wear facial marks, bearing vertical one inch marks made below the eye wall in sickly children in order to wade off constant sickness, which are later regarded as identification marks. In the same vein, Negri in Ajibade (2006) reveals the significance of body marks, like tattoo, which he says are made for symbolic or decorative purpose, and connected with marriage and birth, while others have magical purposes. The researcher further submits that, contemporary markings on the skin are forms of
decoration that are still in use, in ceremonies, especially on the body of girls about to take part in festivals and rituals connected with marriage and birth. Omagu (2010) maintains that, the art of body decoration is an ancient practice in Africa and every culture decorates, exposes, covers or alters the body for the sole interest of communicating specific ideas such as, imparting communal identity, lineage, religion and some distinct social messages in one way or the other. Indeed, Omagu has explored the body scarifications of the Bekwarra in a painting experiment.
Furthermore, some other artists have derived their source of inspiration either from natural or manmade objects for exploration in painting. For instance, Buhari, (1984) was inspired by Gwari life, while Chafe, (2000) created paintings from durbar decorative motifs which directly account for his inspiration in painting. Buhari (1984) maintains that sources of inspiration are available within our own environment and the proper places for artists to seek inspirational sources are no doubt within their immediate environment. It is in that regard that Buhari‟s study of Gwari forms brought to the fore, forms of the Gwari culture, which are peculiar to them. It is also against this backdrop that, Egonwa (2005) reviews the work of Uche Okeke who pioneered the Uli style of Igbo traditional art, inspired by the Uli Igbo drawings and paintings of the wall and human body decoration. Filani (1997) and Adepegba (2006) also examine the Ona decorative patterns, motifs, ornaments, patterns and designs peculiar to the rich artistic culture of western Nigeria and observe that, it inspired a group of artists and became a rallying point for artistic exploration.
Omagu (2010) affirms that, the early writers of Nigerian history and art have been known, to pay more attention to documenting and exploring the art of the Igbo, Hausa and
Yoruba which are the major cultural groups in Nigeria. It appears that little or nothing is known about the few minority cultural groups that are part of Nigeria‟s population. This situation has resulted in scanty or no artistic visual rendition of the Kambari cultural motifs for body decoration. Hence, this research strives to explore the rich culture of minorities‟ art works in general and the Kambari body decoration in particular.
1.2 Background of the Study
Janie (1993) explains that, the Kambari people live in the North central part of Nigeria that surrounds Lake Kainji in Niger state. Historically, they live in hamlets and on farmlands. It has been claimed that after they had fled from Yauri at the time of Hausa Fulani jihads, they eventually settled at their present location. At Present, the Kambari people are mostly found in villages or small extended family settlements of fewer than hundreds and are known to build small settlements which they often abandoned, as people migrated towards them. Janie states that there are three types of language clusters of the Kambari namely: Tsinshingini, Tsimba and Cinshingini, all situated in Borgu, Agwara, Mashegu and Rijau local government areas of Niger State. Garba (2006) avers that, the viable mode of activity of the Kambari is agriculture, with crops such as groundnut and millet being popular. Also, hunting, animal husbandry, blacksmithing and craft contribute a large part, to the development of Kambari economy and enhance the social life of the society.
In the Kambari tradition, a person is seen to be ugly, anti-social, cowardly or poor, if he or she is without any form of body mark. The Kambari people have patterns and motifs that are highly decorative and developed through body markings, tattooing, staining of the body and many other types found all over the body. This aspect of Kambari culture
is mostly practised amongst the females because it is considered as enhancing social status and beauty. These patterns and motifs are created by incising the body with sharp instruments like knives, razor blades, needles, shells and broken bottles, depending on the purpose. During this process the shape of the scarred tissue is carefully controlled on the part of the body being designed. Soot, animal fats, and plants oil, are applied on the scars to enable healing. Which sometimes form keloid. The women have more elaborate body decorative patterns than the men; the first mark a young woman receives is on her abdomen, emphasizing her role in child bearing. Body markings among the Kambari are timed around women‟s physiological changes such as puberty or child birth, which also signal the passage from one life stage to another such as the transition from betrothal (engagement) to marriage proper. This study was inspired by these marks on the surface of the skin that have an orientation of balance, beauty, repetition, line and texture.
1.3 Statement of the Problem
Many types of body decoration exist in a number of cultural groups that are yet to be explored which can be used as elements of design in modern art. This indicates that the use of traditional sources in visual art is inexhaustible. For instance, there have been series of historical and visual documentation of various body markings in Nigeria like the Onyaa body markings of Bekwarra South-South Nigeria, Uli forms and patterns of Igbo in South-East, Nigeria, the Ona Yoruba patterns in the South-western part of Nigeria and the Durbar motifs of Northern Nigeria. There are also some historical documentation on Kambari culture but it appears that there is no known study on Kambari body markings that have been explored in painting. Therefore, this study explores Kambari body markings as sources of inspiration for painting.
1.4 Aim and Objectives of the Study
The aim of this study is to create painting compositions using Kambari body markings, while the specific objectives are to:
1. Identify various Kambari body markings.
2. Explore and use forms of Kambari body markings as symbols in painting.
3. Transform Kambari body markings from Organic to a conceptual state in paintings.
1.5 Research Questions
i. In what ways can Kambari body markings be identified?
ii. In what ways can Kambari body markings be explored?
iii. To what extent can Kambari body markings be transformed from an Organic to a conceptual stage in painting?
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study reveals the aesthetic possibilities found on the body of Kambari people, by bringing to light, knowledge of design elements with respect to Kambari patterns. This study also, explores the art of Kambari body markings by adapting, documenting artistically and preserving art of body decoration.
The adaptation of Kambari Body decoration expresses an African concept of design principle that can be better appreciated in line with the elements found in traditional Kambari forms. The design orientation expresses Kambari idea of balance,
beauty, emphasis, repetition, line and texture that can be used in painting like Onyaa, Uli, Ona and other art motifs. There is a lot to be gained in studying the relationship between Kambari body decoration aesthetics and painting.
1.8 Scope of the Study
This study focuses on the Kambari patterns and motifs for decoration. These patterns and motifs can be found on buildings, the human body, stool, clay pots, calabashes and musical instruments. However, this study is limited to the body markings that are found on the surface of the human skin for body decoration. Consequently, this study covers the expressions of these designs and patterns on people in both Borgu and Agwara local government areas of Niger state.
1.9. Conceptual Framework
The researcher employs the concept of postmodernism and the minimalist approach to painting. Busser (2006) states that: “the Postmodernism seek to shatter established ideas about style and brought a radical freedom to art and design”. For instance, Shina Yusuf, Ayo Aina, among others used lines and geometrical shapes to represent forms in their paintings without placing emphasis on originality of form. In this regard, the research will through exploration focus on Kambari body markings by creatively doing so in painting compositions. This study is cognisant of the minimalists‟ view that action painting was too personal and insubstantial which explained therefore, why they adopted the perspective that a work of art should not refer to anything other than itself. For that reason, they attempted to rid their works of any extra-visual association. According to Justin (2012), the use of the hard edge, the simple form, and the linear rather
than painterly approach was intended to emphasize two-dimensionality (2d) and to allow the viewer an immediate, purely visual response. Frank Stella, Piet Mondrian, and Franz Kline, are few of the exponents of this movement. Uche Okeke, Shindai Gideon are also Nigerian artists that adopt the minimalist approach in their paintings. In view of the foregoing, this study seeks to create a visual dialogue with the Postmodernist Minimalist painter‟s approach, to explore Kambari body scarification patterns and motifs by simplification of linear forms, in order to explore their aesthetic possibilities in painting.
GET THE COMPLETE PROJECT»
Do you need help? Talk to us right now: (+234) 08060082010, 08107932631, 08157509410 (Call/WhatsApp). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org