Hausa Urban Art and Its Social Background

Hausa Urban Art and Its Social Background

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qWhen I started my investigation of decorated houses in the walled city of Zaria in late 1976, it was above all to record the rapidly disappearing external wall decorations. Hence, the survey was perceived as a rescue operation to collect as many photographs and drawings as possible before these decorations disappeared altogether, and also to record vital information about them from compound heads living in decorated houses, and from the master craftsmen who created them. During an introductory stock-taking survey we listed nearly one thousand decorated houses. When I concluded the survey in 1985 the material collected included 75 recorded life stories of craftsmen. When I finally completed the manuscript of this book hardly any of the old traditional external wall decorations had survived. It was obvious that traditional wall decoration had become a thing of the past, no longer relevant to the younger generation of compound heads in the city of Zaria, and indeed in most other traditional towns in northern Nigeria.q ( From the introduction)2 The Role of Compound Heads in House Decoration The role of compound heads in building and house decoration, as well as their relationship with craftsmen, has changed during the last 50 years, and this has affected the decorations.

Title:Hausa Urban Art and Its Social Background
Author:Friedrich W. Schwerdtfeger
Publisher:LIT Verlag Münster - 2007


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