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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Traditional body design idioms and multimedia application: the Igbo 'uli' art form
Author:Utoh-Ezeajuh, Tracie
Periodical:African Performance Review
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:body arts
Abstract:Traces of body designing and decoration can be found in almost every indigenous culture around the world. Traditionally many African societies design the body in rich and varied ways. Among the Igbo people of Nigeria these design practices abound as part of the people's cultural heritage. The 'uli' (black indigo) body design technique is the most popular of such design modes. 'Uli' body make-up tradition, however, belongs to the Igbo cultural past, and it has become obvious that many practices of traditional society have come under the corrosive influences of modernity. There is a need to find new expressions for 'uli' design, and give it contemporary relevance. The theatre appears to be a place where the potential of 'uli' could be explored and utilized. Nigerian contemporary theatre is technically ill equipped to meet the make-up demands of a dynamic theatre such as has evolved in the last decade. 'Uli' body design has the potential of filling a huge vacuum, especially in the area of body adornment in make-up. Being home-grown its suitability to the African skin is not under contention. Based on research findings, 'uli' is here presented as suitable design material and practice for contemporary Nigerian theatre. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]