Terracotta vessels and figures uncovered in and around Calabar are the most recent revelations of Nigeria’s rich artistic past. They date back to 445 AD.
All the terracotta vessels, headrests and figures that define the Calabar style were made with the same coiled modelling technique and coarse textured clay, suggesting a shared tradition of pottery making and sculpted figural forms.
Many of the figurines are conceived as a torso in the form of an upside down water pot; an ingenious conflation of the human body and shape of a globular pot, with the head attached to the up turned bottom of the vessel. They range anywhere from 5 – 35 cm in height, with the figurative vessels constituting the tallest forms.