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A CONTEXTUAL ANALYSIS OF SELECTED ARTIFACTS IN THE MUSEUM

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A CONTEXTUAL ANALYSIS OF SELECTED ARTIFACTS IN THE MUSEUM

 

ABSTRACT

The creative abilities of humans have allowed them through time to manipulate and control their mental and physical environment. An artefact is what man created or made from the natural recourses around him (Ahmad, 1989).This study is on the Niger State Museum in Minna .The problem of this study therefore, is the contextual articulation of selected material culture of the museum, within the socio-cultural context as well as the creation of enlightenment strategies for the museum. The aim of this study is to articulate the socio-cultural context and significance of selected artifacts in the Niger State Arts and Council Museum, while the objectives are to: Identify and categorize artifacts; examine the socio-cultural context and significance of the selected artifacts;design and create an awareness plan model for the museum.Relevant literature were consulted these authors had conducted earlier studies on artifacts and their categories and significance. Furthermore, a review of museum awareness strategies was also performedand authors like Forde – Johnson (1974),Tansille(1998), Steinback(2013), Hornby (2015), have made useful contribution in the literature. Historical and descriptive methods of research which had been used by earlier scholars were adopted. It also involved instruments like oral interviews observation and photography. After the application of the aforementioned, the data was analysed and categorized based on the socio-cultural significance of the selected artifacts. An enlightenment strategy was also designed to enable the public participation in museum activities. The findings were documented based on the aim and specific objectives of the study.

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

Right from the creation of humans they have been able to usetheir creative ability to solve their challenges. Ahmad (1989) stated that the paleohthic period has been used to articulate the early history of humans, where they evolved from being wanderers to settlers. Within that period also, history has revealed that human started producing tools, which enabled them to cope with their challenges of the environment. Consequently, they eventually found shelter, started hunting and what today is referred to as culture. Culture therefore, evolved through the varied tradition that followed human evolution, with all of its characteristics features.

He further stressed, in Africa for instance, the Egyptian civilization is reputed to be one of the oldest in the world and its culture of life after death has been widely documented, just as its pyramids and mummies. Also in Nigeria, the Nok terracotta’s, Ife bronzes and the Benin court arts, have all been documented and the communities credited with rich cultures. The Nok, Ife and Benin cultures are some of the art cultures that are highly priced around the world. Indeed, Nigeria has a large variety of cultures, which are mostly complemented by unique, diverse and sophisticated artistic traditions. Perhaps, it is as a result of all these, that the Nigeria museum was first established. Primarily, to collect and document, the increasingly evolving traditional arts of the various cultures in Nigeria.

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