Mbari : Art and Life Among the Owerri Igbo

By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 3 business days
When will my order arrive?


One of the most fascinating artistic phenomena in tropical Africa, mbari houses are little known outside Igboland. Art historian Herbert M. Cole has drawn from his extensive research in eastern Nigeria to produce the first book-length study of this unusual art form. Cole describes the building of a mbari mud house to honor the gods, a process rich in tradition and ritual, marked by body painting, drumming, dancing, singing, and chanting. The ecology, socio-cultural systems, and religion of the Owerri area are examined as a backdrop to the elaborate stage of the building process, which may take up to two years to complete. Illustrated with rare field photographs and superb line drawings, this volume describes and interprets mbari houses not as isolated works of art but as monuments growing out of, and expressive of, the values and beliefs of Owerri Igbo more

Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 154.94 x 236.22 x 25.4mm | 680.39g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 88 photos
  • 0253303974
  • 9780253303974

Table of contents

Preface Acknowledgments Chapter One: Introduction: The Setting Chapter Two: The Gods and the People Chapter Three: The People and Processes of Mbari Chapter Four: Form Chapter Five: Inspiration, Individuality, and Aesthetics Chapter Six: Meaning Chapter Seven: Conclusions Glossary Appendix A: Tree Altars Appendix B: Ndimgbe Names Appendix C: Master List of Mbari Subjects in Sculpture Appendix D: Mbari House at Obaku, Oratta clan, Owerri Bibliography Notes Indexshow more