b'The genesis of the department in the African Studies department is significant in that it underscores the importance placed on fledgling artists grounding their work in a deep engagement with the local culture of the Yoruba people, the primary ethnic group of that part of Nigeria. 68When Makuuchi began teaching in Ife, the school was entering an important transitional period. The establishment of the Department of Fine Arts signaled a new focus on training the next generation of contemporary artists, and this attracted students who were serious about their studies and focused on careers in making art. This opportunity allowed Makuuchi to put into practice the les-sons he had learned from Wendell Black and Mauricio Lasanskyto encourage students to develop their own vision through a grounding in technique. Makuuchi was respected as a teacher for bringing an international perspective as well as for his own surrealist imagery. Two of Nigerias most important visual artists, Tola Wewe and Kunle Fulani, studied with Makuuchi, and Wewe has cited him as an influence. 69Makuuchi was actively making drypoints while in Nigeria, although he apparently did not return to the United States with any impressions. Makuuchi also taught linocut printmaking and kept some examples of work made by his students, presumably to support his teaching credentials when he returned to the United States. According to his friend Andrew Balkin, Makuuchi returned with ideas that took his work in a new direction. 70One of Makuuchis prints that was probably conceived in Ife is Ife Chickens coming home to roostor egg drop soup (fig. 28). The title refers to a Yoruba creation myth in which the topography of Ife was created by the scratching of a white hen who was released by the god Obatala to establish land for all living creatures. Makuuchi uses this foundational story to visualize the melding of cultures. A woman on the right side of the composition holds a chicken. The eggs below the chicken bear intercultural spiritual symbols, including a Star of David, Yin-Yang symbol, and Orthodox cross. Above the womans head are two facing figures in profile. Both appear to have multiple faces, as if they are wearing a series of masks. A fanged animal emerges from the shadows below the figures. These details point to the many ways in which cultures meet and influence each other, like the egg drop soup of the title, a traditional Chinese dish that has become a staple of American cuisine. The artistic community in Ife had a definitive effect on Makuuchis subjects and ways of working. The deep engagement with local Yoruba cultureas well as the relationships between mythology, writing, and storytelling in many of his students and colleagues workinspired Makuuchi to incorporate his personal history, memory, and experiences into his later artwork. He was also undoubtedly FIGURE \x0c\x06 Ife Chickens coming home to roostor egg drop soup CHECKLIST #2448'