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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Yoruba concept of art and its significance in the holistic view of art as applied to African art
Author:Adepegba, Cornelius O.ISNI
Periodical:African Notes: Bulletin of the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan
Geographic term:Nigeria
Abstract:The Yoruba word for art is 'ona'. It has three general connotations, referring to the designs made on objects, the art objects themselves, and the profession of the creators of such patterns and art objects. From the many uses of 'ona', it is possible to deduct various attributes of art among the Yoruba of Nigeria. These include design or special form, skill or craftsmanship, propriety or decency, which can also mean beauty, and creativity. Put together, these attributes imply the concept of art embodied in the Yoruba language, and handed down from one generation to the next. These attributes of art as extracted from the Yoruba language are basic to art in both Western and Oriental cultures. The idea of art as universal has resulted in the advocacy of a special and holistic approach to the study of non-European art, emanating from the social sciences and intended to view African art in the context of its producer-culture, without an appreciation of its artistic properties. Traditional African art, however, is giving way to an art that is less and less culturally integrated, and the holistic approach will be irrelevant when the time comes to study contemporary African art alongside the traditional. Note, ref.