Negotiating the intangible heritage of Awka traditional paraphernalia in modern society

Writer : Ngozi Ezenagu, Chinazor Ezenagu, Ikechukwu Efosa Ezenagu
Year : 2024

Awka traditional paraphernalia is the product of many centuries of artistic traditions. Such great works of art may seem lifeless to non-natives, but are functional in all spheres of Awka community life. They depict the various tangible and intangible features of Awka culture. Despite the intricacy and functionality of these traditional artworks, they are gradually losing potency and relevance in Eurocentric post-colonial Nigerian society. The out play of modern museums and contemporary artworks challenged the intangible essence of traditional paraphernalia. Therefore, this study employed historical research method and textual presentation analysis to explore the intangibility of tangible heritage of the Awka traditional community. The mimesis theory of art was used to buttress the relevance of the intangible heritage represented in Awka traditional paraphernalia. The study found that the intangible heritage is the essence of Awka traditional paraphernalia. In addition, it found that traditional artworks were the mainstay of various cultural institutions and activities in the Awka community. It concluded that traditional artworks embody the beliefs and practices of the Awka community. The study suggests that contemporary artworks should be designed to reflect the intangibility of traditional paraphernalia in modern society.