Nigeria Art and Culture, Nigeria Tradition, Nigeria Ethnic group history, Touristic information on Nigeria, in this Book you will be led a successful trip to Nigeria. Because of the great diversity of people and culture, Nigeria has distinguished herself over the centuries in the field of arts.
Nigerian versatility in art is so great that it is generally felt that all African nations should view Nigeria as the principal trustee of the most durable fruits of black artistic genius.
It is not precisely known when the first works of Nigerian art reached the outside world, but in 1897, following a British punitive expedition to Benin, over 2,000 Benin bronzes and ivories were shipped to England and later dispersed all over Europe and America.
The oldest sculptures found in Nigeria were from the Southern Zaria and Benue areas of central Nigeria. They consist of terracotta figures and figurines made by a people who achieved a high degree of cultural sophistication.
These sculptures, together with other cultural elements, have been named the Nok Culture. Evidence shows the Nok people had knowledge of iron smelting and adorned themselves with tin and stone beads, earrings, noserings and bracelets.
The Nok Culture is dated between 500 B.C. and 200 A.D. The next known phase of Nigerian cultural evolution was Igbo Ukwu bronze casting. Found in the small village of Igbo-Ukwu, near Awka, the casts date from the 9th Century A.D.
They first came to light in 1938 and consist of staff heads, crowns, breastplates, pendants, ornaments, anklets, wristlets and chains.
About the same time the Igbo-Ukwu people were casting bronze, the ancient Ife people were also producing works in bronze, copper, and terracotta.