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THE NOK PEOPLE

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Last update (06-09-2018)

The Nok people are people from a village called NOK near Zaria in Northern Nigeria. The oldest sculptures found in Nigeria, even in the whole of black Africa, are terra-cottas from the NOK culture. They were called Nok culture because the specimens were first discovered in the place in 1940s.

The Nok culture flourished probably between 900 BC and 200 A. D. in an area South West of Jos . It is believed that terra-cottas were made by the people who had lived when iron working had been introduced into West Africa in relatively settled society.

Other iron smelting materials like the nozzles (ekue) bellows are smelting furnaces which were also found by Bennard Fagg at Taruga near Abuja. They were also to have been great agriculturalist. The objects were very good and durable pottery, models of men and animals, like monkeys, elephants, insects and plants - were found. The figures wore bracelets and ornamental circles round their legs and waist.

What  we want lo state about the Nok culture is that no one knows the real people who made these Nok objects. They are called Nok culture because they were found near Nok village. It is like the Ife tenacottas. No one knew who made them. They were found at Ife hence the Ife terra-couas.

The question is that did the Nok people died out leaving no descendants at all? If not, where are if not where are their descendants today? Where the Nok the direct ancestors of any tribe in Nigeria today? Yoruba, Benin, Igbo, Hausa?. We could as well claim that the Nok people taught the Binis the act of bronze castling or taught the Ife people too but this may not be true. It could be true that the people may have been scattered as a result of war and came down to areas like Benin and Ife. Tradition told us that by 700 A.D. brass were already in use in Benin by Ogiso though this has not been supported by discovery or archeology. However, in Egharevha told us that brass came to Benin 1280 A.D. and was introduced by Oba Oguola who also dug the moat. There is doubt in all these by recent findings based on the origin of moats or Iya in Benin.

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