Freak’s Fun Friday: The Nok-Culture

I am a freak, I admit it. When I was younger, I actually enjoyed going to school (go ahead, laugh at me) — not because I wanted to meet my friends, but because I loved learning new stuff. It hasn’t changed all that much. I’m still delighted if I manage to smuggle facts into my stories without anyone noticing. At this place, I’ll give you access to my twisted mind. Welcome to a Freak’s Fun Friday.

My current WIP (Work In Progress), “Juma’s Rain”, is set in a Stone Age Africa that never was. Still, some facts remain true to what happened in our world. I love mixing real life elements into my story, so I did it again. This time, I chose the Nok-culture, named after some terrific Terracotta statues first found near the town of Nok.

 African_Art-_Louvre Nok_terracotta_figurine

Nok-mapScientists are loathe to declare Nok a culture because they know so little about their economy, religion, or everyday life. One thing they are certain about is that the Nok people learned to forge iron 500-1000 years BC. Intensive research showed that they learned iron forging without learning about copper first. Scientists all over the world are still puzzled by this fact, and I find it absolutely fascinating. They are wondering if the Nok developed these skills independently or if they learned them from traveling smiths of other countries. I’m inclined to believe they learned it without help. Maybe, one of their gods taught it to them. *grin*

It was hard to find relevant facts about everyday life in Stone Age Africa, so I mixed what I know about the time in Europe with the way some of the more traditional tribes still live today. It might not be accurate, but should be close enough. Truth be told, life wasn’t all that different all over the world at that time. Sure, the cultural backgrounds and the individual religions, customs, and beliefs differed, but planting and harvesting, breeding and slaughtering, cooking and cleaning had to be done with only slight variations due to climate.

Whenever I read something about people from the Stone Ages, I keep wondering if they really were that much different from us today. They fell in love, they ate, they had to use the toilet, they quarreled, they were happy or not… I’m sure they would get along well today, too. What do you think? Have you ever thought about people from other times or cultures? Let me know in the comments.
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