Nok / Seated Dignitary / about 250 B.C.Nok
Seated Dignitary
about 250 B.C.

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Creator Name: Nok
Creator Nationality: African; West African; Nigerian
Creator Role: Sculptor
Creator Name-CRT: Nok
Title: Seated Dignitary
View: front
Creation Start Date: 0
Creation End Date: 0
Creation Date: about 250 B.C.
Creation Place: Eastern Nigeria, Jos Plateau
Object Type: Sculpture
Materials and Techniques: Fired clay
Dimensions: H.36-1/4 x W.10-7/8 x D.14 in.
AMICA Contributor: The Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Owner Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
ID Number: 97.35
Credit Line: The John R. Van Derlip Fund

The Nok culture of northern Nigeria, a civilization that existed from approximately 500 B.C. to about 500 A.D., is principally known for its terra-cotta figures. Relatively little is known about the purpose of these figures or the civilization that created such extraordinary sculptural representations of its people. A few of the remarkable characteristics that distinguish Nok pieces from terracottas of later cultures in Nigeria include the triangular, pierced eyes; the elaborate coiffure and beard; and the placement of the ears.

This work depicts a person of high status wearing elaborate beaded jewelry, and with a crooked baton on his right arm and a hinged flail on the left. These are symbols of authority also found in ancient Egyptian depictions of the Pharaohs and the god Osiris. The Nok culture existed during the late Pharonic period and intra-African trading could have spread Egyptian influences into many other parts of Africa.

Related Multimedia Description: Antenna Audio: Permanent Collection Tour
Link to Multimedia: MIA_.AA200101.12.mp3
AMICA ID: MIA_.97.35
Component Measured: overall
Measurement Unit: in
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights: ?The Minneapolis Institute of Arts

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