Mbari and the Igbo Concept of Art in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

Thumbnail Image
Anyokwu, C
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
'Mbari'Ls an Igbo artform which involves the moulding of artistically forgedfigures such as the Earth Goddess, several other deities and idealities in rhe Igbo pantheon as well as humans and inanimate objects. all in kneaded special clay. Mbari also is an art/act of sacrifice which embodies both the functional and aesthetic dimensions of African art. This dualfunction of the Igbo art derives from the fact that the Igbo traditional artists usually abandon their carefully-designed pieces to the ravages of the elements. and start remoulding from scratch in a subsequent season. This is the basis of what in this paper is called Ephemeral Art of the Igbo: an aesthetic philosophy shot through with the values of dynamism. innovativeness and indeed. kinesis. Achebe thus relies on this Mbari art philosophy as the informing principle of his own work and. in Things Fall Apart in particular, uses Mbari as a counterfoil to the classical (Western)concept of art.
Staff Publication
Anyokwu, C (2008) Mbari and the Igbo Concept of Art in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart. Lagos Review of English Studies, a Journal of Language and Literary Studies, 16 (3).