Nigeria's oldest museum is at Esie in Kwara State (midway between Osogbo and Ilorin). The museum contains over 800 soapstone statues, and has a brand new extension with examples of sculpture and masks from across Nigeria. It is well worth the detour to get to the museum. Scholarly research suggests that the figures were made by the Nupe after they sacked Oyo. The figures are therefore dated between the 11th and the 15th centuries. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to take photos in the museum and there are no postcards or books available to buy there, so I had to take the picture below with my phone (hence the poor quality). It is a real pity that photography is not allowed. It keeps the museum as one of Nigeria's best kept secrets, when it should be thronging with school children finding out about the wonders of their cultural heritage.
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