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Cultural metamorphosis, building traditions and search for architectural identity in Africa- a case study of South Western Nigeria

By Timothy Odeyale


Cultural metamorphosis refers to the major and subtle changes that occur within a society. These changes may be desirous or not. Culture has to do with the beliefs of the people, which may be tangible or intangible. Culture and human development are actively related. The culture of a group of people has several distinguishing characteristics; it is based on symbol, it is both shared and learned, and it is usually socially inherited with far reaching consequences on the way and manner of living of an individual. Culture also has to do with the way of life of a people; it may be material or non material type. The material culture has some aspect reflected in the historical buildings and carved wooden objects, which form essential parts of the traditional built environment. There is a general consensus among mainstream anthropologists that human first emerge in Africa about two million years ago. Since then man have spread throughout the world, successfully adapting to widely climate and to periodic cataclysmic changes in local and global climate. This led to the emergence around the globe remarkably different societies with differing cultures, and these cultural differences persist to the present time. The comprehensive process of societal change resulted into different physical development of the environment across the globe; these changes are referred to in this paper as cultural metamorphosis. It is debatable whether these differences are merely incidental artifacts arising from patterns of human migrations or whether they represent an evolutionary trait that offers an explanation to her success as specie. This paper critically examines the historical antecedent of some Yoruba communities in south western Nigeria; with respect to their cultural identities, heritages, monuments and architectural patterns. This will help to comprehend the rate of changes that occurred from the past 50 years, in order to elicit vital lessons useful for the present in a drive towards a sustainable environment

Topics: K440 Urban studies, K100 Architecture
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Year: 2010
OAI identifier:

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