Cultural Landscape Transaction and Values of Nupe Community in Central Nigeria
by Isa Bala Muhammad
"The book is an account of Nupe cultural landscape- a product of peoples’ steady way of life influenced by culture and landscapes’ social transactions. It covers Nupe cultural values with specific references to a typical Nupe community- Doko. The output is largely from the inhabitants’ perspective derived from an ethnographic research compilation that led to grounded theory assertions. These assertions evolved as the climax of the research from their unique tangible and intangible values, belief and myth, a viewpoint showcasing inhabitants’ collective identity.
Nupe cultural values stem out into tripartite branches that cover landscape (e.g., hill or valley, water bodies, and market scenes), indigenous professions (e.g., farming, trading and traditional barbing) and architecture (e.g., compound design that includes bedroom, courtyard and entrance hut). The meanings derived from the values as lived by the people are common socio-spatial traits passed from generation to generation. The tangible physical features that are shaped by the intangible values as elaborately discussed by the author are essential interpretations towards sustainable rural development and nature conservation as realities essential for planning, policy formation and developmental programmes. Significantly the meaning extracted from the cultural landscape transactions are expressed spatially.
The book affirms the uniquely characterized cultural landscape transactions with overriding design implication that relates typical Nupe compound design influenced by Nupe family system. Furthermore, it showcases theoretical inference which exposes the need to focus on minority ethnic groups in order to preserve, sustain and as well understand cultural landscape transactions of such groups both by content and method. This is because interpretations of manmade features and human lived experiences exhibited in tangible and intangible forms constitute the mainstream values of inhabitants and contribute to environmental orderliness.
Invariably, developmental plans by governments could be optimised through the comprehension of peoples’ living experiences such as provided in this book. This scholarly contribution is a valuable asset to architects, anthropologists, psychologists, environmentalists, and sociologists. It also provides research ethnographers with great benefits in understanding indigenous cultural landscapes. Beyond these, the built environmentalists are impacted by the sustainable human-place transactional ideals and insights in the book."
Abubakar Isah Danladi, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Nigeria
The book provides readers with insights on how cultural landscapes are conceptualised under two major realms of tangible and intangible values as exemplified in this study of a rural Nupe community in central Nigeria. Equally important are the people-space and place relationship which results in a sense of place. The cultural values of communities are a product of both natural as well as the social setting which begins with the family. Accordingly, this book showcases how the concept of family structure shapes the architecture of the domestic space. Similarly, it also exemplifies how tangible and intangible cultural values are constituted within the domestic space as well as the entire cultural landscape.
The uniqueness of this book is on the empirical evidence which is based on the documentation of an eight-month ethnographic study which brought about the native’s resident perception of their cultural landscape. This aligns with the global call in which UNESCO is at the forefront advocating the need for the preservation of values and identities of cultural landscapes. More also is that scholars in Human geography, Anthropology, Ethnography, Architecture and Cultural landscape studies can relate to the cultural transactions discussed in different chapters this book. The concluding chapter of this book gives the deductions drawn from the cultural landscape values of Nupe community which resulted in the formulation of Grounded Theory with spatial implications.
ETHNOGRAPHY APPROACH TO CULTURAL LANDSCAPE STUDIES
Tangible and intangible cultural values
Ethnography and cultural transactions
THE MEANING OF CULTURE AND CULTURAL LANDSCAPE
Defining culture and cultural landscape
Cultural landscape values assessment
Space and sense of place
Nupe community cultural landscape
Situating marriage ceremony in Nupe community transactions
FAMILY STRUCTURE AND DOMESTIC SPACE TRANSACTIONS
Doko community landscape character
Compound leadership and spatial implication
Nupe domestic space transactions
Spatial transactions of children
Zhempa (courtyard) and family transaction
Entrance hut (katamba) spatial transactions
Kata (bedroom) spatial character and transactions
Supporting architectural features
TRANSACTIONS OF INDIGENOUS PROFESSIONS
Farming in Nupe community
Traders and landscape transactions
Gozan – (barber-doctor) transactions
Medicinal rituals of the community-wasa
Natural landscape transactions
Cultural values of the hill
Cultural landscape values of trees
Spatial distribution of trees
Intangible values of trees
Cultural values of water
INDIGENOUS PROFESSIONS AND LEADERSHIP ROLES IN CULTURAL LANDSCAPE TRANSACTIONS
Operationalization of cultural landscape values
Leadership history and cultural values
Farmland transactions and the influence leadership
Transactions of Farmers
Market scene as a gendered place
OVERVIEW TANGIBLE AND INTANGIBLE CULTURAL VALUES OF NUPE COMMUNITY
Cultural values of domestic space
The grounded theory of Nupe cultural landscape
Planning and policy implication
Isa Bala Muhammad obtained his PhD in Architecture from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and a receipient of an Award in the same institution as the best graduating PhD student in the Department of Architecture in 2015. He had his Master’s Degree as well as bachelor’s degree in architecture in 2000 and 2002 respectively from Federal University of Technology Minna, Nigeria. He joined the services of the Niger State government as an architect in 2003 where he designed and supervised several government projects and rose to the position of Senior Architect. He later joined the Federal University of Technology Minna as a lecturer in 2007 and has lectured and supervised both undergraduate and post graduate students. He has written articles in cultural landscape values and human relationship with environment. His research interest is: Ethnography, Cultural landscapes, Ecosystem Services and Human Behaviour and Environment.
Isa Bala Muhammad is a reviewer of University based journals amongst which are Pertanika Journal of Science and Technology, Univesity of Putra Malaysia; Archi-Culture Journal of University of Jos Nigeria and Nigerian Journal of Technological Research of the Federal University of Technology Minna. Similarly he is also an Editorial member of Environmental Technology and Science Journal of the Federal University of Technology Minna. He teaches Advanced landscape Design, Interior Design and Advanced CADD at Federal Univesity of Technology, Minna, Nigeria. He is the Postgraduate Coordinator of the Department of Architecture in the same institution.