This is why I call my blog Nok, it is named after my ancestors.
The Nok were a culturally, technologically and artistically advanced, proto-Yoruba civilization in what is now called Nigeria. Some of the earliest examples of sophisticated sculpture in sub-Saharan Africa come from the Nok culture. We do not know what the people called themselves, so the culture was named after the town of Nok where the first object was found. The fired clay or terracotta sculptures range in size from small pendant to life-size figures. Nok is an iron age culture that has been dated between 900 B.C. and 200 A.D. Archaelogical artifacts have been found in Nigeria, primarily to the north of the Niger-Benue River confluence and below the Jos escarpment. 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.
Nok Civilization represents One of the earliest African centers of ironworking and terracotta figure production south of the sahara , the Nok culture remains an enigma. The great sophistication of Nok terracottas has led some scholars to believe that an older, as yet undiscovered tradition must have preceded Nok terracotta arts. It has also been suggested that Nok terracottas have some sort of relationship to later portrait arts, such as those of Ife, but this is currently unproven. Masterful relics severed from their predecessors and successors by the passage of time, Nok terracottas currently occupy an important but isolated space in the history of African art.