Saturday, 26 November 2016

Yoruba was Nok : Scientific Parametres

Yoruba was Nok

About Nok, Wikipedia the free encyclopedia says  “The Nok culture appeared in Northern Nigeria around 1000 BC and vanished under unknown circumstances around 300 AD in the region of West Africa. It is thought to have been the product of an ancestral nation that branched to create the Hausa, Gwari, Birom, Kanuri, Nupe and Jukun peoples.”.( Nok culture

Fortunately, the circumstances for the disappearance of Nok , can be seen if scientific evidences are followed. Nok disappeared under circumstances not well understood, but using scientific parameters, Olubunmi (2007) shows that Nok disappeared due to inbreeding of the original owners of the civilization. Nok was an advanced civilization. The following were part of Nok civilisation:

1.   An advanced monarchy

2.   Use of the horse

3.   Fine artistry

4.   Mining of iron

5.   Advanced terracotta

6.   Living in big cities

7.   Advanced government

8.   Bead weavers , etc


Nok not ancestral to the Bushmen of the Middle Belt

The Wikipedia encyclopedia has contended that Nok is ancestral to the people of the Middle Belt – Berom, Anga, Taroh , and a host of others. It is important to highlight that no wonderful civilization has ever existed among any of the people of the Middle Belt – Berom, Anga, Igbira, Tiv etc – where the Nok civilization spread to.

The apocalyptic end

The Nok civilization started about 1000BC and was extinct about 200AD, leaving no trace or reason for its disappearance. Olubunmi (2007) attribute this disappearance to genetic mutation from strangers who came to join the original Nok people. Can this theory be true? We reason further.

Middle Belt Civilizations and Nok

1.   Nok was a real mega state. No middle belt state – except Igala, Nupe, Borgu Bariba , with strong Yoruboid links – ever developed a kingdom

2.   No advanced civilization evolved around the present Plateau and Kaduna areas, where Nok culture predominates.

3.   No cities evolved in Plateau, Kaduna, Bauchi etc where we had Nok culture, until Europeans started building cities in colonial times

4.   No cloth weaving technology among the peoples, of the Middle Belt, most of them were going without clothes till the inception of colonialism – even till the inception of independence in 1960.

5.   No bead weaving in the area.

6.   Nok was one culture, but what we have in the Middle Belt is more than 200 cultures without a uniformity,


Origin of Nok – a scientific Parameter

By gradual movement a trans-African migration seemed to occur about 40,000 years ago. Bushmanoids and Bantus from East and South Africa emerged in the Middle Belt zone of Nigeria. (Omolewa 1980; Ajayi & Espie 1965; Olubumi 2007). About 10 – 15 thousand years ago, perhaps due to favourable genetic mutation, proto-Yoruboid (ancestral to Yoruba, Isekiri, Igala) broke out of the bush men of the Middle Belt. The oldest civilization of the Yoruba in Nigeria is at Iwo-Ileru (near Akure, in the South East flank of Yoruba Land). To show the genetic march of the Yoruba, the Ifa Oracle ideographs, ‘hieroglyphics’,  paraphernalia were present in  both ancient civilizations (Iwo Ileru and Igbale Aiye) .

Around 1000BC, the Nok culture which experts have agreed is genetically ancestral to that of Ife appeared (Ekpo Eyo, Chambers Encyclopedia vol 10; Wikipedia, the free volume encyclopedia.

The Art History of Ife and Nok clearly shows the genetic link of the two ancient cultures. The Nok culture was a uniformity, and would not be the works of the over 200 ethnic groups in the area, who migrated there about the sixteenth century (Elizabeth Isichei (1982) 
About 500BC, the civilization of Ife appeared (Olubunmi 2007). Ife grew to become an empire, and there were many kingdoms in Yoruba land, unlike the people of the Middle Belt who were mostly stateless societies.

Comparison of Yoruba and Nok

1.   Both were large kingdoms. No large kingdom in the traditions of the Middle Belt people, especially in Plateau, Kaduna, Bauchi state areas, where the Nok statues are found.
2.   Iron working. No iron working in historic times among these peoples of the Middle Belt.
3.   Bead weaving existed between Ife and Nok. No bead weaving among the scattered tribes of the Jos Plateau.
4.   Realistic and naturalistic arts. No naturalistic arts among the Plateau dwellers
5.   The Plateau dwellers can’t remember the importance of the iron technology in their area.

Proofs that Yoruba developed Nok (scientific parameter)


1.   Most people of Middle Belt, even on the Plateau have Yoruboid genes (Olubunmi 2007).

2.   Traces of Yoruboid languages exist in their tongues

Yoruboid Survival in Middle Belt tongues




Middle Belt tongues




Berom (Dam) a small bat)

Cultural contact


Eshishi(Ife dialect)

Ishi (Nupe/Igbirra Koto) , Berom (Chin)

Cultural contact


Isekiri (gun), Ife(gu)

Mada(Nasarawa State) (Gun)

Cultural contact


Oku (all Yoruboid)

Igbira(Oku); Berom (Ku- die)

Cultural contact

Dust of corn/dust


Buibui (Jukun)

Cultural contact

To desire

Wa (Oyo)

Taroh (wa- desire),Kadira(Plateau ) wa, to desire

Cultural contact







Wapan(Jukun) ajo; Tiv (Iyo)Jarawa(yoyo)




Koro= Berom

Additional consonant



Gbagyi- Kaduna state (Kuta stone)







The closer the boundary to the present Yoruboid people, the closer their languages.  The Analyses of the Nupe and the Igbira languages compared to the Yoruboid will tell the story clearer.
Yoruba / Yoruboid
Nupoid  = Nupe/Igala
Ko= collect
Ku = collect/Nupe
Eleku= door
Yeku =door in Nupe
Lo , to go
Lo , to go ;Nupe
Imi , faeces
Ami , faeces, Kakanda, Nupe
Epa, groundnut
Opwa, groundnut, Gbagyi,Nupoid
Odo= river
Edu (river), Nupe
Obi = kolanut
Ebi, kolanut,Nupe
Ko= praise, sing
Ko , praise,sing(Nupe)
Ega, weaver bird
Egwa, weaver bird, Nupe
Obe= knife
Ebi=knife ;   Nupe
Gbo to hear
Gbo , to hear
Gbo, to bark like a dog
Gbo, bark like a dog
Fo, to fly
Fu, to fly,Kupa(Nupoid)
Gwa(to dig) Igala
Gba(to dig), Nupe
Etswa=moon, Nupe
Be- beg
Ba= beg, (Nupe)
Lu= make a hole(Isekiri)
Lu(To leak), Nupe
She to break
Che to break(Igbirra), She (Nupe)

Enigma of Yorubic civilisation
It is clear therefore that like Nok, Ife was and is a uniformity, but Yoruboid influence and genetic code in small proportions is found in peoples of the Middle Belt.(Olubunmi 2007; referencing American Institute of genetic studies). No major civilization was found among the Middle Belt peoples. Ife had all the civilizations of Nok and even improved on them with time (Frobenius 1903). The scientific conclusion is that Yoruba was Nok. When foreigners inbred with them their original civilization was affected due to blood mixing. A further proof is that after the fall of Nok the proto-Yoruba-Isekiri-Igala became the most advanced civilization in the present Nigerian area (Alagoa 1977; Ediyekio 2005; Obayemi1977 Moore 1936 etc). Isekiri was the most civilized people spreading religion all over the Niger Delta; the Ebu , Olukumi, Iyeghenle kept intact their Yoruba-Igala culture in midst of dominant Igbos and Edos, Bini was the only civilized people who developed a kingdom among all Edoids(Ishan, Afemai, Urhoboid – Urhobo-Isoko-Okpe – Udekanma(Degema) ;Epie etc. No other Edoid group develop a kingdom. Benin attained that stage due to Ife colonisation. The Igbo area with kingdoms and civilization – Igbo-Ukwu, Nri, Aboh Onitsha – all had Yorubic influences. Aboh had strong influence from Benin and Ode-Isekiri (Ryder 1969), Onitsha, Nri , Igbo-Ukwu from Igala(Alagoa 1977). Even the states of the Delta – Bonny, Kalabari, Nembe – had strong cultural influences (cloth weaving, bronze making, religious ideology  pot making etc) from Isekiri which made them to spring into city states(Alagoa 1989,1977, Jones, Ryder 1969, Ediyekio 2005, Honsbira and St.Ifa 2008).

Since the DNA (Olubunmi (2007) cognates with the Yoruboid, and the linguistic formula shows a clear cognation between the Yoruboid and the languages of the Middle Belt, we can see a trace to a common history. Since the Yoruboid languages predominate in the languages of the Middle Belt, the original Nok culture will show affinity with the present Yoruba language. Since the languages of the Middle Belt have a lot of divergence, and only have uniformity where they relate to the Yoruboid language, it will show that the original Nok spoke a language similar to Yoruba. With the influx of Bantuid people in the Middle Belt and North of Nigeria, the original Yoruboid peoples must have moved south. The remaining small Yoruboid left must have intermarried with the intrant Bantuids. Yorubic influences seem to have been more concentrated around the areas of the confluence – Nupe, Igbirra.
          Nupe-Igbirra is not Yorubic people, but with a high percentage of Yorubic words in their language, we can safely call them Yorubanised. So Yoruban vocabulary is thickest where the Yorubic blood is thickest. People around the confluence – Nupe, Igbirra, Borgu, Bariba etc – have a thicker dosage of Yoruban blood, hence, the more concentration of Yorubic words in their vocabulary; the more the recounting of exploits with them in the oral literature template. The stories of Sango, Oronmiyan etc( Obayemi 1977) go a long way to buttress this fact.
          Nok, therefore, must be a culture with a basic uniformity. The art history, the preponderance of Yoruban genes, the preponderance of Yorubic customs – the use of Yoruba incantations in part of Igbira, Nupe and Bariba in rituals – show that the original Nok is more akin to Yoruba than to any ethnic group in the Middle Belt area.
Augustine Oritseweyinmi Oghanrandukun Olomu(St.Ifa)