|The Nok Terracotta Sculpture. Photo Credit : www.en.wikipedia.org|
The earliest form of terracotta sculptures were produced by the Nok people who lived in the central region of Nigeria. Nok sculptures were found in Nigeria in early 1000BC and completely disappeared without any known means in 300AD in the West Africa region. The culture was known to be one of the earliest art culture in the sub Sahara Africa. An English archeologist Lt Colonel Dent Yong led a tin mining excavation in 1928 in a small village called Nok in the present plateau state during which a miner dug clay terracotta of a small head of a monkey. Few other miners in the team found terracotta of human foot and head which was later collected by colonel Dent and carefully preserved in the Jos national
museum. Also in 1932, there were discoveries of seven terracotta statues in a community near Sokoto state. In the same vein, in the year 1932, several figures were found in Nok village during a tin mining expedition. These figures were used as scarecrow in the yam farm until they were bought by the mining director. It may interest you to know that Bernard Fagg was the only archeologist who took great time to study the Nok culture. In his studies Benard found out that Nok culture was basically associated with the people of the Ham ethnic group found in the southern part of the present day Kaduna State.