A CRITIQUE OF THE COSTUME AND MAKEUP USAGE IN QUEEN SHEBA

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A CRITIQUE OF THE COSTUME AND MAKEUP USAGE IN QUEEN SHEBA

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.0            Background to the Study

Costume and Makeup remain two of the most fundamental visual elements of the theatre. Theatre historians trace the origin of the arts of the theatre to ancient Greece with the dramatic rituals which they enacted both as a form of entertainment and as a tool for social celebration and communication. Costume and makeup according to Brockett, were some of the most vital elements that enhanced these successful performances. Thus, through the wearing of masks and other stylized costumes, they impersonated men, animals, or supernatural beings and mimed the desired effects. Simply put, out of such dramatic rituals, theatre is said to have emerged Ja and Kai (1982).

From the above, it could be deduced that the arts of costume and makeup first emanated from the dramatic rituals of the early men, from whence they evolved into being two of the most visually instructive elements of the theatre. According to Cohen, costume has always been a major element in the theatrical experience. It is the vehicle for the “dressing up” that actors and audience alike have always considered a requirement for the fullest degree of theatrical satisfaction” Heni, (2005).

Essentially, Queen of Sheba, Arabic Bilqīs, Ethiopian Makeda, (flourished 10th century bce), according to Jewish and Islamic traditions, ruler of the kingdom of Sabaʾ (or Sheba) in southwestern Arabia. In the biblical account of the reign of King Solomon, she visited his court at the head of a camel caravan bearing gold, jewels, and spices. The story provides evidence for the existence of important commercial relations between ancient Israel and southern Arabia. According to the Bible, the purpose of her visit was to test Solomon’s wisdom by asking him to solve a number of riddles. As tools of visual communication, costume and makeup possess tremendous power to capture the attention of the audience and in the process intensify moods and convey messages through non-verbal means. In other words, costume and makeup “heighten the aesthetic value of the play, offering basic information and enhancing the play’s interpretation”. Among other objectives, costume and makeup designs are to set the tone and style, indicate time and place, characterize individuals and groups, underline  personal relationships, create symbolic outfits and when appropriate, meet the practical needs of performers as well as coordinate the entire production.

1.1     Statement of the Research Problem

Many tend to see costume and makeup as they see our daily dressing and fashion. This study reveals that costume and makeup is different from our everyday wears, because the actors acting tends to imitate another person. It is on this record that the researcher posits to clear this fact and mend the bridge and barriers that tend to make people fail to appreciate costume and makeup in productions.

Another problem this work sets to solve is the believe of the audience that a rich actor with a good costume and makeup is rich in life and a poor actor with tattered cloth and worn out makeup is poor in real life. Also, the researcher chooses this topic to debunk the claim that Nigerian movies are nothing to write home about in the aspect of costume and makeup, and proves that our history and culture can be preserved and seen from the use of costume and makeup.

Costume and makeup are vibrant artistic medium of the theatre as tools of cultural expression. Apart from being the item of clothing or bodily adornments worn by performers, costume and makeup enhance cultural aesthetics, artistic styles and tradition.

1.2     Justification of the Study

This research was chosen to highlight the role and effectiveness of costume and makeup as metaphors in the visual interpretation and understanding of a film; and in extension any theatrical production. No doubt, costume and makeup represent cultural backgrounds, cultural values and behaviours.

They also enhance and preserve cultural identity and awaken the spirit of cultural aesthetics and consciousness among a group of people. In addition, the study aims at motivating confident experimental practitioners who will push the boundaries of costume in the Nigerian film industry beyond its traditional role.

The study also aims at exposing the unlimited possibilities in costume design and makeup creativity; thus encouraging practitioners to utilize these opportunities in order to alternate the problems of inadequate identification in costume and makeup designs. Apart from contributing to the existing body of knowledge, this study also demonstrates the validity of the general belief that costume and makeup worn by a particular tribe is a reflection of the people’s artistic and aesthetic culture. Ultimately, this study also aims to identify cultural costume and makeup design.

1.3     Objectives of the Study                   

This research work is set to achieve the following objectives;

  1. To examine the visual interpretation of Costume and Makeup of Queen Sheba
  2. To examine the purpose of costume and makeup of Queen Sheba
  3. To examine the philosophical behind costume and makeup of Queen Sheba

1.4     Research Questions

  1. What is the visual interpretation of Costume and Makeup of Queen Sheba
  2. What is the purpose of costume and makeup of Queen Sheba
  3. What is the philosophical behind costume and makeup of Queen Sheba

1.5     Hypotheses

  1. There is no significant effect of visual interpretation of Costume and Makeup of Queen Sheba
  2. There is no significant effect of the purpose of costume and makeup of Queen Sheba
  3. There is no significant effect of the philosophical behind costume and makeup of Queen Sheba

1.6    Significance of the Study

This study is significant because it emphasizes the need for creative accurate and meaningful choice of costume and makeup in the Nigerian film industry as these factors will enhance cultural values and identification. By doing so, the study will tackle the issues of inadequate representation in costume design in Nigeria and even the lack in makeup creativity. The excellence displayed by the producers of this film will expel the skepticism displayed by organizations that are keen on making endowments for film production in Nigeria.

This study will also add to the existing literature in the area of costume and makeup design; thus motivating further research in these areas.

1.7     Limitation of the Study

This study is limited to but not wholly confined to the role of costume and makeup in Queen sheba.

 

A CRITIQUE OF THE COSTUME AND MAKEUP USAGE IN QUEEN SHEBA

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