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IGBO UKWU BRONZE AND ART


Encyclopedia » History
Anambra

               

Image: Shell Vessel, Bronze
 

 

                   Igbo-Ukwu community is located in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State. The town is of great historical and cultural significance in Igbo land. The ancient site of Igbo Ukwu is situated in the modern day homelands of Igbo peoples of southern Nigeria. Archaeological finds were first discovered at the site in 1939 when an Igbo farmer named Isaiah Anozie chanced upon several bronze objects as he was digging a cistern to hold water in the dry season. It was not until 1959 that the archaeologist Thurstan Shaw excavated the site and discovered that it must have been part of a storehouse for ritual objects. The site dated 9th or 10th century A.D and it represents one of the earliest examples of bronze casting in sub-Saharan Africa. The site has several parts, including a main burial, associated caches and shrines. Igbo Ukwu was a burial place for elite personages, and the burials identified there were interred with a large quantity of costly grave goods. The principal burial is of a person buried sitting on a stool, in fine clothing and rich grave effects such as over 150,000 glass beads, and accompanied by the remains of at least five attendants. Elaborate cast bronze vases, bowls and ornaments were discovered at Igbo Ukwu, made with the lost wax technique. The detailed and delicate surface decoration of objects, featuring tiny figures of insects and small animals, and the addition of fine wires arranged to emphasize the shape of the piece. The vase illustrated is enveloped in a stylized woven net, possibly inspired by the type of net that would have been used for carrying containers. The site portray a lot of tourist attractions which gives any tourist that visit the area an insight of what the Igbo Ukwu people and Igbo in general where known for. One significant thing about Igbo-Ukwu bronze culture undoubtedly is that it is found in all the migration routes of the Igbos in all parts of Nigeria. This is coupled with the fact that Igbo-Ukwu has the largest deposits of bronze so far discovered in Africa.

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Updated 4 Years ago
 

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