Nwommo Traditional Art of The Ibibio People: A case of exhibition of the rejected

  • Ekaete Emeka Ogbonna
  • Clement Etim Ekong


Ibibio traditional art exhibition is a permanent display in a building called Nwommo (Warrior Shrine). It has a chief priest as the custodian and curator. On display are various sizes of ceramics pots for storage and mixture of herbal medicinal concoctions. The exhibition huts also have numerous sculptures, masks, wall paintings, graphics symbols and textiles loins, wrappers for theatrical spectacle, hunting expedition and body adornment respectively. However, these traditional exhibitions are viewed as scary, diabolic and fetish. Therefore, they are rejected within Ibibio societies and beyond. They are seen except for the initiates as non-conforming to acceptable values. This paper, attempts to use the example of exhibition of the rejected, a non-conformist group in France to discuss the impact of traditional art exhibition as found amongst Nwommo permanent display. The objectives were to discuss the materials and production of Ibibio traditional art; the influence of Nwommo traditional art on contemporary art and; position Nwommo traditional art as exhibition of the rejected. The method used was unstructured interview and reviews from related literatures. Findings reveal significant activities of administration, religion, communication, preservation, entertainment and aesthetics in Nwommo Ibibio traditional art. The inference drawn from the study on the exhibition of the rejected is that of allowing for unconventional creative outlet as a means of reforms within a given society. The paper recommends restructurings through original works of traditional art as against rejection. The Ibibio traditional art exhibitions are avant-garde resources, reminiscent of the socio- economic and socio - political standards of the society.


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eISSN: 1813-2227