The Renewal of lie Akogun in lIe-ife, Nigeria;A Paradigm for the Conservation of Yoruba Iconic Architecture
Osasona, Cordelia O.
Ogunfolakan, Benjamin A.
Ewemade, Friday O.
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lIe-lfe has many socia-culturally iconic buildings. Unfortunately, most of these presently range from being poorly maintained to derelict. Though the town records a sizeable annual influx of tourists (as participants in the Olojo and other traditional festivals, as well as routine visitors to the museum and other historic sites), its tourism potentials have not been fully tapped - particularly those centered on its architectural monuments, lieAkogun, is the official residenceoflfe's traditional chiefof- army-staff. Nearly 700years old, it is one of the town's heritage buildings. It is characteristically an impluvim-courtyard typology. Apart from being imbued with mythological nuances, special spatial considerations have been made in its articulation. Faculty of the Obafemi Awolowo University and some concerned indigenes of the town, are engaged in a drive to sensitize the public to the implications for Yorubaposterity of the neglect of traditional architectural monuments. One way of doing this, is by renewing dilapidating heritage buildings. The article discusses the proposal to renew lie Akogun.lt narrates its socia-political significance, linking it with Oranmiyan (the pre-cursor of Akogun), the descendant of both Ogun (the god of iron) and Oduduwa, the progenitor of the Yoruba race. It concludes that in conserving heritage buildings, lIe-lfe has the material to compare favourably with other nations that thrive on architecture-based tourism. The submission is supported by a design proposal to restore both the utility and heritage value oflle Akogun.
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