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Onaism: An Artistic Model of Yoruba Civilization in Nigeria

International Association of African Researchers
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  • Linguistics
  • Philosophy


This paper focuses on Ona stylistic tendency as an artistic model of Yoruba civilization in Nigeria. The quest to carve an identity led to series of experiments with diverse motifs and idioms in order to create art works reflecting our traditional setting. The Ona artistic movement is one of the many fruits or harvest emanating from the natural synthesis theory of the late nineteen fifties. It is the intention of the writer to examine its development from the modest beginning to its robust formalistic model of artistic expression. Through interviews with exponents and review of a number of literatures, it was found out that the Ona movement has to a large extentfacilitated the crystallization of Nigerian visual art. The younger generation of Yoruba artists is inclined to revive Yoruba artforms, motifs and philosophy through constant experimentation with local materials, patterns and imagesrooted in modern styles. Through the use of this idiom, the Yoruba artists have carved an image for themselves by projecting Ona art as a formalisticmodel of artistic expression in Nigeria and the world at large.Keywords: Ona, Ornament, Pattern Motif, Design

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