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The Indigenous Arts Of Nigerian Tribes

The Indigenous Arts Of Nigerian Tribes

Ivory Mask

With approximately 182 million people, Nigeria is the populous African nation. It is made up of about 371 ethnic groups which all vary in language and culture. Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba are recognized as the three major ethnic groups in Nigeria. They constitute 70% of the Nigerian population. These groups are often identified by their indigenous dressing, dance style, language, food, and art.

Nigerian art forms part of our history and has served specific purposes in the era of its creation. A purpose that may have been for either traditional or religious activities which defines the culture of such a tribe (Art of Hausa-Fulani, Yoruba, and Igbo).

Back in the stone-age, The Igbos made bronze ceremonial vessels a part of their cultural heritage. This vessel can be seen at weddings and traditional ordinations, etc. Igbo art is generally known for various types of masquerade, masks, and clothing symbolizing people, animals, or abstract conceptions.

Nigerian Art

The Yorubas have been known for their poetic and artistic history. They specialized in making sculptures that often represented a deity of some sort. They also specialized in beadwork, metalwork, weaving, and mask making. These works are often found today at local art galleries. The arts of the Yoruba are as numerous as their deities, and many objects are placed on shrines to honor the gods and the ancestors.

Yoruba Culture

The Hausa-Fulani art of the Nigerian people is somewhat associated with their daily way of living; such routines as farming and animal rearing. It is however mostly influenced by their religious beliefs and spirituality.

Article by Sema Bassie

Photo Credits: Wikimedia, ArtandArchitecture, Gulabmahal, Vanguard

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