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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Nok, Katsina, Sokoto : Nok Terracotta Head
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Nok Terracotta Head - PF.3820
Origin: Northern Nigeria
Circa: 250 BC to 100 BC
Dimensions: 4.75" (12.1cm) high x 4.5" (11.4cm) wide
Catalogue: V19
Collection: African
Style: Nok
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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Some of the earliest examples of sophisticated sculpture in sub-Saharan Africa come from the Nok culture, an Iron Age civilization that has been dated between 900 B.C. and 200 A.D. The terracotta sculptures range in size from small pendants to life-size figures. We do not know what the people called themselves, so the civilization was named after the small tin- mining village of Nok where the first objects were discovered in 1928. Archaeological artifacts have been found in throughout Nigeria, primarily to the north of the Niger-Benue River confluence and below the Jos escarpment detailing the extent of their cultural influence. According to some accounts, based on artistic similarities between early Yoruba art forms and Nok forms, there may be connections between Nok culture and contemporary Yoruba peoples. What is clear is that certain stylistic tendencies prevalent in black African art today may have originated in the sculptures of the Nok. - (PF.3820)


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