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Art features prominently in the culture of the Yoruba, a people numbering more than 25 million and subdivided into different kingdoms in Nigeria and adjacent regions. It both enriches life and is used to venerate and influence deities. The exceptional quality of Yoruba art from ancient times to the present is an expression of the complexity of Yoruba life. This new book explores the archaeological and historical evidence that suggests that by the beginning of the second millennium, many Yoruba kingdoms had become major urban centers with highly developed economic, cultural, political, and religious institutions. Drawing on field observations, contextual analyses, oral sources, and published materials, this book offers insight into the poetics and dynamics of Yoruba art and belief that the "beautiful" or "well-made" generates a special power that commands attention.
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