An insight into the splendour of our cultural heritage
By JOY JOB
Communication is the life-wire of social existence. Before the advent of various technological devices for disseminating information, African societies use images, signs and symbols as powerful tools for passing information across.
The Department of Fine and Applied Art/music, with Dr Ephraim Ugochukwu, Head of the Department, and Prof. Elom Sunday, Vice- Chancellor, Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi State has showcased many sculptural works in the Fine Art Studio.
The cultural heritage of the people has been passed from one generation to another through various artworks. Beautiful artworks such as Ndi Asiri (the gossipers) designed by Mbawuike Cosmas in medium of wood chippings; rug weaving, designed by Arianzu Ogbona Rex; Okobo (flower) made by Ukwa Job; Tie and Tie Tribal Marks by Chiaka Nnodi; and many others, are so beautiful and splendid to behold.
These art works can also be used to pass powerful information as they have connotative meaning attached to them. The sculptural works are most often figurative and as well, bring huge insight into the African cultures.
A society without a culture can be liken to an engine without oil; little wonder that African arts have been valued and treasured as they bequeath their owners with high socio-economic status.
On the other hand, painting in Africa has been a form of applied art executed on rock walls to assist in storytelling and recording events. Pigment and dyes have also been applied to decorate surfaces on sculpture, pottery, drums or architectural buildings; even bodies and skin – all being powerful tools for passing information across and upholding and preserving our cultural heritage.
The Fine and Applied Arts Department of Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, also known as the ‘Sunshine Department’, has creatively designed sculptures and artistic clothing materials.
The designs which are metaphorical representation of ideas showcase our rich tradition of our African culture and as well constitute primary examples of intellectual and cultural vitality.
Surely, a society without a culture is like an engine without oil. Our African artworks are the core representation of our cultural heritage and origin, and therefore should be treasured and appreciated.