Examination of Ife Bronze Casting Culture and Its Decline in Maintenance Practice in Contemporary Society
AbstractIle-Ife, the Yoruba ancient city is known for its vibrant cultural environment. This city of ancient civilization and one of the home for bronze casting in the Western region of Nigeria have made significant contributions to the world of culture through its great artistic traditions in terracotta, bead making, bronze and brass casting that predates Pre-Colonial era. This culture of occupational practice has experienced decline as a result of its discontinuity in modern day Ile-Ife. This study therefore investigates the causes of its decline in practice and also examines the maintenance and sustainability of bronze casting in Ile-Ife. In so doing, this study adopts the interview method to enable the researcher investigates the factors responsible for the decline in bronze casting from the families that were once associated with this art. The findings of this study reveals that, the decline is as a result of many factors including the influence of war, western civilization and culture, education, science and technology. Sequel to this influences, those craftsmen who practiced bronze casting also passed on without replacement. This study concludes that in order to resuscitate bronze casting in Ile-Ife, there is the need to set up bronze casting industry to promote the commercial culture in the history of Ife. Furthermore, the spell on the trade should be revoked and the practice of bronze casting should be sustained.
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