Adaptation of Nsibidi scripts to ceramic art

  • Clement Etim Ekong
Keywords: Adaptation, Nsibidi, Symbols, Script, Ideograms, Ejagham, Studio Experimentation


Nsibidi, scripts and ideograms were invented in Ekoi (Ejagham) in today‟s Cross River State of Nigeria. It was used for  communication throughout the Cross River Basin of South-Eastern Nigeria, and beyond. In spite of its spread in ancient times, it seems Nsibidi is not accorded adequate prominence in modern art forms. Modern industrial and studio products do not seem to adapt them adequately to forms. Thus, the study explored the possibilities of adapting these symbols to studio ceramic art forms. The object was to use Nsibidi to create utilitarian and aesthetically sound ceramic wares. The study depended on secondary data for the background information. The signs were purposively selected for adaptation to the realization of novel ceramic forms. The study which used the practice-led approach revealed, through the ceramic forms produced, that Nsibidi symbols can be useful for the production of aesthetically sound ceramic wares. It is also found to be useful for the creation of utilization forms as well as forms  that combine both utilitarian and aesthetic functions. It is, therefore, recommended that Nsibidi should be adapted to ceramic art and other 3-dimensional art forms.


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eISSN: 1813-2227