Dr Pat Oyelola is a much loved figure in Nigerian art circles who taught for some years at the University of Ibadan and has written numerous articles and books on aspects of Nigerian art. Whilst doing my research and on subsequent occasions I was one of many visiting students over the years who have benefitted from her guidance, kindness and hospitality. Her latest and most substantial book is a 300 page survey that ranges across the whole range of Nigerian arts, from body decoration and hairdressing, to textiles, beadwork, pottery, calabash decoration basketry, sculpture in wood and metal, and the impact of these traditions on contemporary artists. The textiles section runs for over 70 pages and presents a local perspective on weaving, dyeing, embroidery, and dress forms over the years from someone who has actively participated in wearing many of the products as well as studying them over several decades. I particularly like the way in which continuities between present day practice and the art forms of the past is seen as a taken for granted aspect of Nigerian artistic life rather than as a problematic issue or a radical break with traditions.
As with all to many Nigerian publications tracking down this book outside Nigeria may be difficult. It is published by Mosuro Publishers in Ibadan at firstname.lastname@example.org but as yet I have not got any information on international distribution.