Katsina and Sokoto


The Nok civilization was only recently discovered. In 1943, a terracotta head was excavated from a tin mine near the town of Nok on the Jos plateau, in central Nigeria. A number of fragmentary terracotta sculptures, stylistically related to the Nok civilization, which are of great artistic quality, were also discovered in further excavations in northern Nigeria. In 1992, a group of eleven complete figures excavated in the town of Sokoto appeared on the western art market. Since then, other pieces originating from the northern town of Katsina have found their way onto the art market, but beacuse Nok pieces come from clandestine excavations, information is scarce.

There exist many difrrent styles of Nok figure all dating between 400 BC and AD 200. At this point it is difficult to know whether the styles correspond to distinct civilizations or to different regional workshops. Moreover, these stylistic variations are not exclusive to any particular area. for instance, a number of terracotta heads in the Nok style have been excavated in Katsina, 200 miles north of th town of Nok. Further research may help unravel the mystery of these early Nigerian civilizations.

~ links to NOK items on ETHNIX.COM ~

NOK Heads