Environmental influence on traditional ceramic designs of the Luo people
The study titled: Environmental Influence on the Traditional Ceramic Design of the Luo people, investigated those factors in I lie Luo environment which are considered to influence the artistic skills, competences, and orientations in the total creation of the clay forms. The physical and human environment of Luoland are outlined. Their contribution to the creation of Luo ceramic designs are described. The main hypothesis is that the Luo physical and human environment among other things determine the: a) availability and choice of raw materials; b) formal properties; c) functional characteristic and d) possibilities for Innovations of the Luo traditional ceramic designs. The present study also addresses itself to some of the shortcomings of previous studies on African arts by first reviewing works on African arts and second, by assessing their contributions and setbacks. The major difference, however, between the works reviewed and the present one is that this is a study of one selected ethnic group rather than several ethnic groups of Kenya. Furthermore, it is not a study embracing all Luo traditional arts but only their ceramic designs. (Iv) The methods and procedures used to collect data were : a) interview; b) observation; c) drawing; d) photography; e) tests. Forty-three specimen of Luo traditional ceramic designs were studied, described and drawn from the finished product. The problems arising from these methods and procedures arc outlined and the ways employed to simplify them stated. The main hypothesis was upheld and evidence to support this hypothesis is presented using the data collected on the forty-three specimen of Luo traditional ceramic designs. Diagrams have been included to illustrate some of the arguments. However, (he hypothesis stated above has been used only as a basis of discussing the findings and not for vigorous testings based on statistical analysis. Lastly, some recommendations and measures to be taken in order to improve Luo traditional ceramic designs have been outlined. These recommendations are based on observations such as: a) while there are genuine Luo ceramic traditional designs, foreign Influence has been assimilated. However, there are many sound reasons why preservation and improvement of traditional ceramic designs should be undertaken; (V) b) • there is still room for improving both traditional designs and raw material resources; c) positive attitude with educational implications should be adopted to integrate both traditional and modem ideas and values.