Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Art History

First Advisor

Babatunde Lawal

Second Advisor

Robert Hobbs

Third Advisor

Eric Garberson


This thesis provides an analysis of the cartoons produced by Victor Ekpuk for The Daily Times newspaper of Nigeria from 1989 through 1998 and the artist’s use of ancient nsibidi script to “hide in plain sight” his social commentaries on sociopolitical and economic issues in Nigeria. Victor Ekpuk’s original cartoons within the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art are examined in the context of indigenous masking practices and other indirect methods employed by indigenous comedians to protect themselves. Moreover, the cartoons’ use of caricature and their nsibidi scripts within are argued to provide a connotative and denotative dichotomy which allowed the artist to work more freely during a period of oppression.


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Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission