Nok is a city in Kaduna state where mysterious and unique cultural statuettes were found as early as 500 BC. This incredible discovery brought global attention to the city as curious archeologists, wanderlust tourists and fun-seeking travelers paid visits to have a first-hand encounter with one of Nigeria’s best kept secrets.
A tour of Nok offers travelers a pleasant, fun-filled and enthralling journey through a once flourishing ancient enclave. It is the perfect place for an adventurous holiday this Christmas. If you decide to visit, Jovago.com, Africa’s No 1 hotel booking portal rounds up 5 inspiring things to note about Nok culture.
Figurines discovered in Nok in 1929
The figurines were discovered in 1929 when it was accidentally unearthed by tin miners. After several lab tests, the figurines were presumably dated 500 BC by archeologists. Since, its discovery, people from different parts of the world have flooded the city to see this rare find. Despite this, the tourism potentials of the city are yet to be harnessed even with the establishment of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments.
Had an advanced social system
Nok people had an organized social system, a well-ordered economy and a functional form of governance that promoted peace, equality and justice in the society. This clearly reflects a structured society way before the emergence of modernity and technology.
Evidence of a rich artistic past
The terracotta heads are an unquestionable proof of the artistic prowess of the Nok people. The deft skills exhibited by the sculptors through their carvings was exceptional. The various heads represented human beings, animals, and plants captured in positions sitting, kneeling or standing; a rarity in modern art.
At risk of being looted
It is worrisome that many of the terracotta heads have been carted away to foreign museums on display for exhibition or auction. Unless efforts are coordinated towards recovering these heads and preventing the looting of others, the Nok culture, and statues, which are invaluable assets to Nigeria, will be lost in the near future.
Nok culture is extinct
The only reminder of Nok culture are the figurines excavated by archeologists. However, Bernard Fagg, who uncovered various Nok sites in 1944 observed that the Ham people of Southern Kaduna was an offshoot of the Nok people. Fagg hinged his decision on the similarities between the cultural practices, dressing, and figures represented in the Nok art. A visit to Nok is guaranteed to take you down memory lane of ancient Nigerian heritage.