Tourism and Facilities Development in Three Art Traditions of Benin Kingdom
The three traditions of Bronze casting, wood carving and the royal costumes have given an endearing identity globally to the ancient city and kingdom of Benin. Yet, the bronze casting and wood carving traditions have not received as much encouragement from the government and corporate organizations as they have continued to receive from the royalty, nobility, diplomats, pilgrims, business visitors, researchers and all travelers who, meaning to return, travel in the capacity of consumers of these works of art rather than producers of them. On the other hand, the royal costumes worn by the monarch, his chiefs and nobility are beautiful sight to behold during the major ceremonies involving the palace especially the Ugie (an annual ceremony of the Oba). This ceremony attracts a lot of dignitaries and tourists. The plastic art works to a large extent form part of the airport or tourist art of the locality which are original in style, customized with unique group identity that are properly finished to international standard. Thanks to the symbiosis of the use of traditional and modern tools and equipment. Sadly, the government has failed to realize the full potentials, tourist expenditure in this area of our economy can generate. The paper therefore seeks to bring to the front burner some of the problems associated with the production of some Benin traditional art works,vis-a-vis sales, their studios, motivation of the artists and how their work environment can be improved upon in order to sustain the vocation using the art historical survey method. The survey revealed that the materials and technology are abundantly available locally. In addition, weather condition, facilities and patronage are important factors to be considered in the production of the works and sustenance of the two plastic traditions while the government is expected to show more interest in the sponsorship of palace ceremonies.
Keywords: Sponsorship, Festivals, marketing Facilities
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