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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:54337
Doc. No:TL24291
Call number:‭3172436‬
Main Entry:Gitti Salami
Title & Author:Ordinarily extraordinary: Yakurr priest -chief's ritual performances and the Leboku festivalGitti Salami
College:The University of Iowa
Date:2005
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2005
Page No:871
Abstract:This dissertation centers on the visual culture of Yakurr people of Cross River State, southeastern Nigeria. It provides detailed ethnographic information about the culture and evokes a sense of Yakurr aesthetics as emergent out of a history steeped in warfare associated with the defense of sparse resources. The text focuses on the ritual performances and associated paraphernalia of twenty-three priest-chiefs, who constitute the traditional government of the township of Ugep, and on the annual Leboku new yam festival. As the traditional priest-chiefs are able to continue to command unswerving respect from the population, which exceeds 250,000 people, it is argued that their performances of time-honored practices continue to be viable today (despite changes to the religious belief system and to the social order out of which these practices once emerged), because the population has charged the priest-chiefs with the mission to perform a constructed Yakurr identity. The latter is designed to defy involuntary membership in the nation state of Nigeria and in an economically integrated global world. The priest-chiefs are successful in their endeavor, because they are able to hide evidence of acculturation, demonstrated by an emerging class structure, beneath cultural practices that have always celebrated individual's success. The dissertation examines the impact of an integrated global economy on the artistic production of a remote village in West Africa. It demonstrates that the contemporary political affairs of the people—local, national, and international—are and always have been a constituent part of “traditional” Yakurr culture. The priest-chiefs' performance of ethnic identity in the modern age is rendered as a conceptual work of art. Methodologically the author relied primarily on participant observation, extensive interviewing, and review of archival material. The text fills an important gap in the scholarship, because previous art historical investigations into the larger cultural complex of Cross River State have exclusively made reference to the culture particular to Ejagham people, which differs substantially from that of Yakurr people and their immediate neighbors. The new yam festival, of which there is barely any mention in the scholarly literature, receives scrutiny here.
Subject:Communication and the arts; Social sciences; Leboku festival; Nigeria; Performances; Priest-chief; Ritual; Yakurr; Art history; Cultural anthropology; 0326:Cultural anthropology; 0377:Art history
Added Entry:C. Roy
Added Entry:The University of Iowa