The Traditional Pottery and Social Engineering: Beyond the Apprenticeship Façade

  •  Chris Echeta    


The sustainability lifeline of traditional pottery in Nigeria is hooked to apprenticeship programmes. Not only does it ensure a turn-over of job openings for the teeming jobless populace, it engages the idle mind meaningfully by distracting it from succumbing to anti-social lifestyle. Apprenticeship, in the course of time, matures into mastery of raw material behaviour and the techniques of production. This dovetails into social re-moulding and this re-engineers the benefitting environment for the overall good. The mention of traditional pottery to the uninformed creates the impression of vessels of crudity and the absence of technical excellence. Contrary to that, it is a tradition of incredible product finesse and complicated technical processes, some of which are still being researched into today. The area has matured into a wholesome body of knowledge routinely handed over, through the apprenticeship system, from one generation to the next without the loss of the tiniest fragment of relevant information. This paper peers into the apprenticeship arena and tries to locate other social benefits which lie side by side with pottery skill acquisition. These benefits tend to re-engineer the societal structure and their effects continue to socially multiply beyond the apprenticeship façade.

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