An Adaptation Of Enugu-Ngwo Maiden Mask Forms For Sculptural Totem Poles – Complete project material


Sculpture, over time, has evolved and through the period of its evolution sculptors have derived inspiration from diverse sources, Pablo Picasso and Amideo Modigliani explored African mask for their paintings and sculptures, this direction has influenced to a large extent the trend of contemporary sculpture. The problem of this research therefore, was, that there is no known attempt at the adaptation of Enugu-Ngwo maiden mask forms for totem pole sculpture. The aim of the research was to create sculptures of totem poles, while the objectives were to; adapt Enugu-Ngwo maiden masks forms to create sculptural totem poles and recreate the aesthetic attributes of the Enugu-Ngwo maiden mask forms into totem pole models among others. Sculpture of totem poles and masks are both material culture of which when synergized resulted into an array of contemporary totem pole sculptures. In the course of this research, different media were explored and deployed. These ranged from concrete, fibre glass and charcoal. The research method was the exploratory studio-based research methodology, which involved visualization and practical observation of the Enugu-Ngwo mask forms. The analysis and conceptualization of perceived forms laid the basis from which the studio projects were executed. Ten sculptures were created two of which are large size and where created to achieve the physical presence of a totem pole.Several findings and observations were made in the process of this research, among which are; It has been shown that sculptural totem models can be produced by adapting Enugu-Ngwo maiden mask.Ithas also been shown that the exploration of the aesthetic attributes of Enugu-Ngwo maiden mask manifest interesting patterns and symbols for creating totem pole models. As well as, there are other possibilities of adapting the mask forms into other forms of contemporary sculpture.





Title page ———————————————————————————-i Declaration——————————————————————————–ii Certification——————————————————————————-iii Acknowledgement————————————————————————iv Abstract————————————————————————————-v Table of contents————————————————————————–vi List of figures——————————————————————————vii List of plates——————————————————————————-viii
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1.0 Introduction—————————————————————————-1 1.1 Background of the study————————————————————-1 1.2Statement of the Problem ———————————————————–3 1.3Aim and Objectives of the Study ————————————————–3 1.4Research Questions—————– ————————————————–3 1.5Justification of the Study ————————————————————4 1.6 Significance of the Study ————————————————————4 1.7Conceptual Framework —————————————————————4 1.8 Scope of the Study———————————————————————5
CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW 2.0 Introduction——————————————————————————6 2.1 Review of Literature and Works——————————————————6 2.2 Review of Maiden Masks and Totem poles—————————————-21 2.2.1 Adanma I —————————————————————————–21 2.2.2 Ugonma——————————————————————————–22 2.2.3 Nneohe———————————————————————————23 2.2.4 Agbogho Mmuo I ——————————————————————–26 2.2.5 Agogho mmuo II ———————————————————————27 2.2.6 Adanma Mask ————————————————————————-28 2.2.7 Agbogho Mmuo III——————————————————————-29 2.2.8 Agbogho Mmuo IV——————————————————————-30 2.2.9 Agbogho Mmuo V——————————————————————–31 2.3.0 Agbogho Mmuo VI——————————————————————-32 2.3.1 The K‟alyaan Totem Pole————————————————————33 2.3.2 Totem Park Pole———————————————————————–34 2.3.3 Totem pole as Architecture Caryatids———————————————-35 2.4 Review of Works————————————————————————-38 2.4.1 Head————————————————————————————–38 2.4.2 The Head of a Woman—————————————————————–40 2.4.3 Red Salmon——————————————————————————41 2.4.4 Mademoiselle Pogamy——————————————————————42 2.4.5 Nwoko————————————————————————————-43 2.4.6 Conversations—————————————————————————–44
2.4.7 Delegate to the African Union———————————————————-45
2.4.8 African Passage Participants————————————————————46 2.4.9 Eghwere———————————————————————————–47 2.5 Untitled————————————————————————————-48
CHAPTER THREE METHODOLOGY 3.0Introduction——————————————————————————–50 3.1.1 Sources of Research Materials———————————————————50 3.1.2 Sketches from Reference Materials—————————————————-51 3.1.3 Stage I: Representation and Formulation of Concept——————————-51 3.1.4 Stage II: Exploration of Forms———————————————————55
CHAPTER FOUR CATALOGUE AND ANALYSIS OF WORKS 4.1.0 Introduction– —————————————————————————-63 4.1.1 “Umu Ada”——————————————————————————-64 4.1.2 Tribute————————————————————————————-65 4.1.3 “Otutu”————————————————————————————66 4.1.4 Here and There ————————————————————————–67 4.1.5 Closed Lips——————————————————————————68 4.1.6Red Dots———————————————————————————–70 4.1.7 Ancestral Mace—————————————————————————72 4.1.8 Staff of Office—————————————————————————-74 4.1.9 “Ndidi”————————————————————————————75 4.1.10 Ancestral Mace II———————————————————————-76
CHAPTER FIVE SUMMARY, FINDINGS AND CONCLUSION 5.1Introduction——————————————————————————–78 5.2 Summary ————————————————————————————78 5.3 Findings ————————————————————————————78 5.4 Conclusion———————————————————————————-78 References———————————————————————————–79



Totemism could be said to have been inspired by the human urge to immortalize that which is considered memorable. To this end, sculptors over time employed different media to achieve or try to achieve this seeming immortality, of the virtues they seek to keep for posterity.According to Ocvirk, etal, (2006), “new generations of artists become dissatisfied with the path taken by their predecessors and strike out in new directions”. He continued that, “throughout the frame of this time, artists have sought inspiration from classical African antiquity”. Such artists as Amedeo Modiglianni,(1884-1920), Constantine Brancussi, (1876-1957), and Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), delved into new directions by a critical contemplation and appraisal of classical African sculpture”.
The general idea about totems is hinged to certain animals or plants which are venerated by the people. Ninian (1984) gives credence to the above assertion when he notesthat,“totems are any animal, plant and object considered related to a kin group is viewed as sacred”.Further elaborated, are the views shared by Arthur and Myers (1985), who opinethat “totems lent performance and stability of the clans to the group of human individuals, who generation after generation were each associated with a set totem, which distinguished one class from another”. The totems may be regarded as a group symbol and as a protector of the members of the group. There has been a significant practice of totem pole form in Africa.Dmochowski (1990), asserts that verandah posts, even in ordinary houses were generally ornamented, using joinery and not sculptural methods. He
states further that in the houses of chiefs and in palaces (afins), caryatids in the form of human figures supported the verandah; such figures were vertically arranged. They were always carved from carefully-selected growing trees. The sculptor contained the whole composition within the capacity and shape of the trunk. Likewise Willet (1971), is of the view that “the word totem refers to a guardian or ancestral being, usually considered supernatural that is revered and respected, not necessary worshiped”. He also asserts that the significance of the real or mythological animal carved on the totem pole is the identification with the lineage of the head of the household”.Buttressing the centrality of ancestry to totems as opined by Willet, Malraoux and Salles (1963), states that,in the new Ireland of the South Pacific Islands the same need to raise a memorial to the ancestor is the basis of the complicated aesthetics of the malanggan (a group of pieces of carved wood, specially made and erected on the occasion of a commemorative feast given in honour of one more dead person, each of whom is represented by a carved figure). The ritual, which consists of representing their image in association with numerous decorative and mythical themes, is in no way intended to affect their standing in the other world or even gratify the dead. Furthermore, Malraoux and Salles (1963), enthuse “that the making of a Malanggan (totem) seems also to have its objective as the re-establishment of equilibrium in the local cosmos, since it‟s prolonged absence could react unfavourably on the harvest and life of the men who fail to make it. It is not surprising therefore, that the cult of the dead has led to new plastic Interpretations, one of which is totemism.”
The inspiration for this study, therefore, is anchored on previous artistic contemplation and adaptations of cultural relics in creating sculpture. The elegance and
feminine poise of the maiden masks becomes a source of inspiration for sculptors. These maiden aesthetic qualities when elongated into totem poles will accentuate their overall visual appeal. 1.2Statement of the Problem There is no known attempt of the adaptation of Enugu-Ngwo maiden mask forms for sculpture.There is also the issue of totem poles being created by the carving technique, where logs of wood are cut down and the totem pole carved out of a single log, the researcher is not aware of totem poles created by the modelling technique. 1.3 Aim andObjectives of the Study The aim of the research is to createsculptures of totem poles, while the objectives are to:
i. adapt Enugu-Ngwo maiden masks forms to create sculptural totem poles.
ii. recreate the aesthetic attributes of the Enugu-Ngwo maiden mask forms into totem pole models.
iii. constructsculptures in the round and abstract based on the mask forms.
iv. re-awaken interest in cultural relics as a source of inspiration for sculpture. 1.4Research Questions i. In what ways can the adaption of Enugu-Ngwo maiden mask forms be for sculptural totem poles?
ii. How can the aesthetic attributes of the Enugu-Ngwo maiden mask forms be explored in creating totem pole models.
iii. In what ways can the mask forms be adapted into stylized and abstracted patterns for totem pole sculptures? iv. What are the ways in which creation of sculptures can be inspired by cultural relics? 1.5Justification of the Study The need to document traditional and cultural beliefs and experiences cannot be overemphasized, thus the importanceof adapting the mask as one aspect of Igbo culture and producing totem pole sculptures and also documenting them. This would aid in salvaging the mask from the threat of extinction, occasioned by religious stigmatization of the art of masking. This will make run for adapting masks into aesthetically pleasing totem poles for public re-awakening of interest in cultural relic as a source of inspiration for sculpture a justifiable study. 1.6Significance of the Study This study explores the art of masking in Enugu-Ngwo by documenting, preserving and projecting the mask as an aspect of the Igbo culture. The study also highlights their social and aesthetic attributes by modifying the elements of masks to align with contemporary ideologies and methods and techniques like cubism and stylization. 1.7Conceptual Framework
The conceptual framework of this study was based on Modigliani‟s (1910-11) idea of elongated form, his studies made of several sketches on Baule mask, which he later adapted into a series of elongated sculptures, one of which is the „Head‟ fig, 22.
1912.The researcher used the concept of elongated form in creating totem pole sculpture. According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, (2014)Modiglianis‟s elongation is characterized by asymmetrical compositions and a simple but monumental use of line. These approaches were pivotal beams in this study.Each totem was a multiple of individual mask forms, which were elongated in tandem with the natural inclination of a pole. Modern artists had over time adapted images of African mask in creating contemporary sculptures and paintings. This study leaned on this concept as vehicle toward adapting the mask forms. 1.8Scope of the Study The studywas limited to adapting the Enugu-Ngwo maiden mask forms for sculptural totem poles. It was also limited to the modelling as casting technique of sculpture, concrete, fibre glass resin and granulatedcharcoalbeing the materials deployed in executing the sculptures.



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