Significance of Ornamentation in Yoruba Traditional Architecture


  • Titilayo Anifowose
  • John Olatubosun



Arts, Sculptures, Palace Architecture, Yoruba Values, Cultural Values.


Culture and tradition are vital constituents of traditional architecture. However, in the period of proliferation and modernism,
traditional architecture is fast disappearing in most parts of Africa due to negligence and incredulity of its importance. Reassessment becomes necessary as traditional architecture can be a source of inspiration even in contemporary times. Through
review scoped literature, this study takes a critical look at how culture affects ornaments of architecture in Nigeria with Yoruba
as a case study. This paper explores significance of ornamentation in Yoruba palace architecture. This means the creative objects
within the old palace (‘afin’) constructed when the city was formed, including the courtyards (‘akodi’) and other structures within
the palaces. It concludes with attributes of different palace ornamentation with clear direction on key roles in the study palace
cultural belief and traditions. Data was sourced from fieldwork, oral interviews and relevant literature. Purposively selected
photographs of palaces ‘Afin’ are used in discussing the state of the architecture and sculpture objects, therefore raises the
enquiry of their connotation for upcoming generations. In other words, ornamentation has a basic statement for which it was
created (meaning); the mutual concern and relevance of such artifact, form, or object gives it a name, root and status in addition
to identity as the material culture of the designing community. The study reveals the benefits of palace ornament to Yoruba
tradition and culture and the importance of culture and history of people if the memories of their past are celebrated and their
cenotaphs and antique places of pride are intact. This paper suggests that elements of palace ornaments like art and heritage architecture in Yoruba palace ornamentation have become a natural occurrence



How to Cite

Titilayo Anifowose, & John Olatubosun. (2020). Significance of Ornamentation in Yoruba Traditional Architecture. I. J. Of Advances in Scientific Research and Engineering-IJASRE (ISSN: 2454 - 8006), 6(2), 141-144.