Male Head, Nok culture

I am constantly inspired by the diversity and complexity of human expression. The Nok culture, whose origins remain shrouded in mystery, is a particularly striking example of this. The male head on display in the Brooklyn Museum is a beautiful and intricate piece of art, with its stylized triangular eyes, arched brows, and intricate hair design.

It is interesting to think about the methods used to create this work, including the winding and carving techniques, as well as the use of a clay mixture to create a smooth texture and add color. The fact that this terracotta is over 2,500 years old only adds to its appeal, as it gives us a glimpse into the past and the rich cultural traditions of ancient Africa.

Male Head, c. 550-50 B.C.E., Nok culture, Nigeria, terra-cotta, 30/5 x 19.1 x 24.1 cm (The Brooklyn Museum)

Speakers: Dr. Peri Klemm and Dr. Beth Harris


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