Visualisation of Kiga totems as meaning making modes towards cultural identity and appreciation
Kiga totems as forms of cultural identity were substantial information of the Kiga cultural identity and appreciation. The Kiga totems have functioned as cultural identity symbol that create identity awareness of kinship among clan members irrespective of them being part of the geographical location of the clan or are scattered in diaspora. It has been anticipated that such a practice enabled control of incest and wildlife preservation because of the high level of respect attached to these totems. Existing literature affirms that such esteemed beliefs and norms among the Kiga people were brought to a decline by the western ideologies imposed onto Africans during colonialism. This has triggered gradual decline in awareness and appreciation of the same among the practitioners. This study therefore set out to visualise the Kiga totems as meaning making modes towards cultural identity and appreciation by specifically establishing the various totems that Kiga clans identify themselves with as symbols of cultural identity and appreciation; develop graphical illustrations from selected Kiga totems that could be potentially used for promoting the knowledge of Kiga totems among Kiga people and develop mock-up designs for selected surfaces that could be potentially used to disseminate the developed graphical illustrations into the Kiga community. The relevancy of this study was to bring about the significance of visual communication towards cultural awareness, sense of belonging through lived experiences of the Kiga cultural communities. Using qualitative study approach and ethnographic research design, ten (10) respondents were purposively selected and data was collected through in-depth interviews, photography, observation as well as documentary analysis of existing scholarly data. The collected data was then analysed and subjected to studio practice. Totems of five clans were used as inspirations to come up with graphical illustrations of the same as well as mock-ups of the various surfaces used to give an impression of the final usage of these illustrations in the community.