Museum of Charms and Fetish Objects in Nigeria: Contemplations about Imagination, Culture and Related Areas

Miroslav Prstačić


On the assumption, upon which perception may be considered as an associative integration of available memory pictures or archetypes as universal thought forms, the deep ecological, cross-cultural and holistic approach is conceived for two complementary areas of research: 1) contemplations about the anthropological traits of imagination, symbolic meanings of museum objects, culture, archetype image symbols and induced associations; 2) meditation on the notion of man in the language and culture of Igbo people in Nigeria, and group visual art expression. These contents are discussed with reference to some knowledge in archetypology, neuroscience, semiotics, fine and other arts, psychoanalysis, sophrology, museology and other related areas. Culture is considered as a way of life which embraces the customs and beliefs, arts, rituals, mentality, religious leaning of the people and historically transmitted patterns of symbols. Three subjects, who graduated in philosophy and/or theology at the Nigerian University, were involved in these activities. Their role in the research workshops extended to that of active participants as listeners, observers and researchers. Museum collections are considered as traditional religious objects, as artistic or ornamental objects, as charms and fetish objects. In a broader sense, and with a review on psychoanalytic theory of object relations and other related areas, some contemplation is shown about the complex history and meaning of the word charms, fetish and related terms, and about creativity, beliefs and human coping mechanisms with various problem areas. In this context, the importance of the catalytic role of education and the heritage mission of the Nigerian museum is highlighted. Research activities were carried out in the Museum of Charms and Fetish Objects in Main Campus of Madonna University and National Pilgrimage Centre in Elele, Nigeria.



conscience, culture, archetype image symbols, induced associations, creativity, heritage

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