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Nigeria, Arts

Nigerian culture reflects African, Islamic, and European influences. In northern Nigeria, Islam has shaped architecture and calligraphy. As Islam traditionally forbids the representation of people and animals, art forms such as ceremonial carvings are virtually absent in the north. In the south, indigenous peoples produced their own art long before Europeans arrived. Portuguese figures first appeared in Benin bronzes dating to the 16th century. Since the dawn of the colonial era, Western influences have challenged, threatened, and in certain ways enriched Nigerian culture.

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