Dirt and the Penetration of Social Fabrics: Rising from the Common to the Uncommon
AbstractThe wheels that carry national economies are hooked to the engine of research. The word “research” carries with it the intrinsic mentality of exclusive laboratory environment. In this case, it is not so. This context includes the use of far-flung production traditions whose investigative stages have been lost in antiquity. Pottery is one of such areas. Among the Igbos of southeastern Nigeria, one of the derogatory names of clay is ‘apiti’ implying “Dirt”. Many, even outside this geographical catchment, feel this is what clay is, yet it has penetrated the social fabrics of every generation and mobilized its potentials to add up to the society’s path to stability. Art has offered itself to this “dirt” or is it the other way round, for the making of pottery for function and aesthetics and, by extension, facilitated the employment of thousands in time. The much-talked-about self-employment, poverty alleviation, and wealth-generation are hooked to the fact that cultures have free-willing methods of training its population. Informal education and training have collaborated to facilitate this where the apprenticeship system has played the mainline role in raising traditional entrepreneurs. Beyond this, historical and documentations dimensions provided by clay cannot be dismissed by the wave of the hand. This paper aspires to explore the social mobility of this common clay and excavate other areas of latent but indispensible involvements in Art, Culture, Documentation and Tourism.
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