The Influence of Indigenous Forms, Art, and Symbols on Sacred Spaces: A Study of Two Catholic Churches in Nigeria

Abimbola Oluwatoni Asojo, Theresa Taiwo Asojo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper examines sacred spaces in Nigeria after the Second Vatican Council as a manifestation of indigenous forms, art, and symbols. The paper discusses a brief history of Nigeria's pre-colonial and colonial design, the Second Vatican Council, and the Catholic Church in Nigeria. Two post-colonial examples are used to demonstrate how cultural heritage, traditional forms, materials, art, and symbols have been integrated in Catholic Churches in Nigeria after the Second Vatican council. The first example, the Dominican Church in Ibadan, Nigeria, was constructed during the 1970s. The facility is based on the traditional West African tent form, which reinforces the nature of community in African spaces. The second example, the Society of African Missions (SMA) Church in Ibadan, Nigeria, was designed by the Design Group Nigeria in the late 1980s. It is located on the seminary campus of the SMA in Bodija, Ibadan. The building form is also based on the traditional African tent form. The building form, artwork in church interiors, vestments of Priests, decorations, icons and symbols, as well as Mass translated to the local languages of various Nigerian ethnicities are some recurring examples of how the Catholic Church has adapted to Nigeria. The two churches illustrate how influences from indigenous forms and symbols have been incorporated in sacred spaces in Nigeria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Interior Design
Volume40
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

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