Talk abstract details

Cosmological interpretation of ethnological artefacts: a study of the Igbo people of Nigeria
Barth Chukwezi


The Igbo are found in the south east of Nigeria and are quite known for their rich cultural heritage which Igboukwu archaeological excavation has helped to highlight the Igboukwu excavation unearthed a very advanced Igbo cultural civilization dating as far back as the 9th century AD The Igbo people have varying belief systems associated with the cosmos which informs part of their social structure and social organisation Chukwuezi ( 2006 ) has demonstrated some aspects of this cosmological belief as it affects the peoples varying forms of cultural activities. The paper looked at the philosophical underpinnings of how the cosmos affected the social organisation of the Igbo. This paper will discuss the cultural artefacts that impinge on cosmological belief. This will also fit into the current UNESCO programme of documenting tangible cultural heritage that affect cosmological belief system Urama (2006) discussed the alignment of some shrines that draws inspiration from the sun. Okpata (2006) discussed the mythological folklore related to cosmology among the Igbo. The two papers have discussed some of these belief systems rooted in the cosmological belief system of the people The paper will try to discuss varying cultural artefacts that are informed by the cosmological belief of the people. There are various artefacts that depict the belief in cosmology such as the representations of the various deities and their cultural paraphernalia and other representations As a museum anthropologist I will try to analyse some of the artefacts that have impacted on the peoples cosmological belief system The paper also intends to arouse awareness on the need to explore the place of cultural astronomy in the material cultural studies which the museum in Nigeria should take advantage of this.