Apprenticeship System in Indigenous Yoruba Pottery Art of Nigeria

Abstract

Mastery is subjected to learning, while learning is made available everywhere depending on how people explore it. Studies abound on traditional Yoruba pottery tradition with emphasis on pot making to marketing of several pottery vessels made in one town or the other, with little effort on the apprenticeship training systems. For many African cultures, a pottery vessel means more than just a “pot”. This paper therefore, identifies the historical significance of apprenticeship system in indigenous pottery profession as a reflector of the social-cultural life of the traditional Yoruba potters in Southwestern Nigeria. It examines the apprenticeship training system; mode of training, duration and graduation procedures among Yoruba potters. The paper reveals that most apprentice potters are usually the relations and neighbours of the master potters (daughters, sister-in-laws and friends), and pot making thrives where the apprenticeship training system is open to every individual who is interested in the art. The paper concludes and points to the fact that the decline status of pottery in some pottery towns today could be connected with the closed-door apprenticeship system adopted which does not allow “outsider” to learn the art.

Keywords: Closed-Door, Indigenous pottery, Open-Ended Apprenticeship, Successive Generation, Yoruba potters


Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 29-34 (Download PDF)

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