This groundbreaking book analyzes the extent to which feminine ideals of beauty, power, and spirituality in southern Nigeria translate into unique demonstrations of corporeality, extravagance, transfiguration, and wellness. Considering a culture of ceremonial seclusion, fatness, decoration, and identity construction as it is revealed through mbopo, a mysterious ritual practiced in Ibibioland, Nigeria, this work seeks to isolate a visual aesthetic that is specific to Ibibio and Cross River cultures. Through the analysis of regional aesthetic forms, Daughters of Seclusion addresses the connections between mbopo ritual and larger conceptions of aesthetics, artistry, and literacy in Ibibio provinces. Its cross-disciplinary analysis fuses West African women's studies and art history to discuss nuances in modes of female representation and conceptualization in Ibibio art and life.
About the Author
Imo Nse Imeh is Assistant Professor of Art and Art History at Westfield State University. He received his doctorate in Art History from Yale University, where he studied the art and aesthetics of the African Diaspora. He is a practicing artist as well as a researcher, and although he is American-born, Imeh's Ibibio heritage - his parents hail from Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria - has become a central point of reference and contemplation in both his art and scholarship. Presently, he is developing a series of paintings that are the visual embodiment of his research.