Musical Embellishment I

Moses Unokwah2018

Terra Kulture

Terra Kulture
Lagos, Nigeria

Musical Embellishment I is an abridged version of the 10 original works. This piece depicts 6 traditional musicians adorned in their heavily patterned traditional attires dancing and playing their instruments at a royal event. The first man, a Fulani musician leads the entourage with his gourd drum. The second, a Yoruba talking drummer in his Agbada. The talking drum, as its name allows, speaks. It’s different pitches mimic the tone and rhythm of the human voice. The gangan, as the Yoruba call it, is played to celebrate royalty or opulence. The third man, an Igbo musician with his personified eerie drum, IGBA “Taking drum” and Opi, made from animal horn or elephant husk in Southern Nigeria. The horn is played on the arrival or departure of the King or Igwe. From his noticeable tribal marks and tattoos, the fourth man, a Yoruba nomad with charms, supporting the symphony with a Sekere, a gourd covered with a net of cowries. The 6th man on the extreme right, a Hausa folk artist, telling from his cylindrical aboki hat, is playing the Jali, a long Hausa guitar that extends from above his head to his crotch, and Kakaki, a Hausa metal trumpet only played at events of the King or Sultan. The obsolete splattered colour of the musicians celebrates traditional musicians as the light that reflects the colours of the ceremony. Traditional musicians are an immutable force of storytellers who create the mood and nurture culture into Nigerian ceremonies, like coronations and weddings. The clefts on their faces are called tribal marks, a form of beautification and identity practiced by Yoruba, Hausa Fulani, and Benin tribes in Nigeria. These 6 stylized heavily textured men, from different tribes in Nigeria, playing in symphony demonstrates the possibility of unity within diversity. In Metal foil, his printmaking process, the engraved plate is printed on Aluminium foil before painting, or the drawings are carved out or engraved on POP and a cast is pulled from the mold which is laminated on a piece of plywood. Aluminum foil is placed on the laminated cast and burnished. The color on metal foil artworks undergoes a two-week process. Foil pieces are patinated to give a metallic finish of green and rust to simulate the Benin ancient bronzes. Moses Unokwah, a senior BOF consultant and present coordinator of Harmattan Workshop (Informal training initiative in Niger Delta) was born in the city of Lagos, in 1964. He is from Agenebode, Etsako East, in Edo State. He mastered the art of printmaking through his pupilage with the chimeric experimental artist, Bruce Onobrakpeya. He exploited limitless mediums to create his boundless art. His work is regarded for its graceful figurative lines and visual brilliance of the socio-political, cultural, and religious life in Nigeria.


  • Title: Musical Embellishment I
  • Creator: Moses Unokwah
  • Date Created: 2018

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more


Google apps