Uche Okeke richly explored the Uli art tradition of the Igbo people during the Asele Period (1958-1966) of his career as a modern Nigerian artist. The medium for local uli art including murals and body paintings are known to be extracted from the pods of plants by the women who use them. Uli Oba, Uli Nkilisi, and Uli Ede Eji are some common names of plants used for this purpose. Regarded as the oldest traditional painting style in Nigeria by some history scholars, the motifs of Uli are known to be abstracted from natural forms, known objects, ideas and phenomena and are symbolic in their meanings.

This Untitled piece embodies the qualities of; the abstract outlook; the linear rendering and dominance of lines; the directness of execution; and the condensation of shapes and patterns which are typical of Uli art. The motifs comprise of dots, lines, curvilinear triangles, circles (symbol of Onwa, the moon), concentric coils (symbol of Agwolagwo, derived from the snake), double triangles (symbol of Mbo Agu, Leopard’s Claw) and crescents. The corpus of motifs is numerous and varies across regions throughout Igboland.


  • Title: Untitled
  • Creator: Uche Okeke
  • Creator Lifespan: 1933/2016
  • Creator Nationality: Nigerian
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: Nimo
  • Creator Birth Place: Nimo
  • Date Created: 1961
  • Location Created: Nigeria
  • Physical Dimensions: 102 x 73cm
  • Type: Drawing
  • Original Source: Yemisi Shyllon Museum of Art
  • Rights: Yemisi Shyllon Museum of Art, Pan-Atlantic University
  • Medium: Pen on Paper

Get the app

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

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps