Nok Culture – Ancient Human Race
Indigenes of Nok, Kaduna state of Nigeria were amused when human size figurines were discovered in the region. The people were surprised, not because of the type of sculpture rooted out, but because of how advanced and extraordinary they were.
The name “Nok Culture” is attached to the figurines discovered in 1943 during a mining operation. Archaeologist Bernard Fagg named the figurine after the village “Nok”.
During the time these figurines were discovered, Nigeria was practicing a federal state with three regions, the Western, Eastern, and Northern region.
Nok figurines were found all over the Eastern and northern region of Nigeria, but more of these figurines were discovered in the village called Nok.
Some figurines were also discovered in Jos but not as much as those discovered in the village of Nok.
Due to the rich mineral resources in Nigeria, the country became a mining destination during the British colonisation. Many artefacts were discovered during this time in Nigeria.
Historians believe that evidence at Taruga, the site in which most of the figurines and iron slag were found suggest that they were moved from their original site to Taruga.
Before the discovery of the sculptures, the majority of West African people has been using Nok Culture figurine for centuries for rituals and traditional purposes.
So who are the Nok Culture
Archaeologist suggest that the Nok were living in the West Africa region at least 900 BC and disappeared mysteriously around 200 AD.
During the evacuation of some Nok figurines, archaeologist found several other artefacts like bracelets, knives. These findings were described as extraordinary and timeless.
But Yoruba traditionalist and historian has argued that the Nok Culture actually lived with the modern human race in the region.
According to Yoruba tradition, the Nok culture are ancient human race represented in West African culture till date.
The Nok had external human organ feature. The differences in the features are almost as the same as what makes human beings different from one another, except for the noticeable big ears, large eyes, thick lips and small height.
They are known as “Egbere” in the western region due to their small size.The Nok range between 2 to 4 feet tall.
Evidence also suggests that the terracotta sculptures discovered in the Eastern and Northern part of Nigeria are of heroes or important figures in the society, as it is in the tradition for people of the region to build statues of heroes and important figures in the society.