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date: 18 October 2019


  • Marla C. Berns


Nigerian people and kingdom famous for figure sculpture, mask and masquerade, and cast bronze ornaments. Examples of Jukun art are held in various museums and private collections in Europe, North America and Nigeria; some of the masks and figure sculpture collected by Leo Frobenius in the early 1900s are in the Museum für Völkerkunde, Berlin.

The Jukun, numbering some 30,000 people, are dispersed across a 56,000 sq. km area of the Middle Belt region of Nigeria, concentrated in village enclaves on both sides of the Benue River. Although the majority of Jukun live in Gongola and Bauchi States, some are settled in parts of Plateau and Benue States. Arnold Rubin has classified Jukun-speaking peoples into two groups whose arts are markedly different: those of the north-east, living between the towns of Pindiga and Kona; and those of the south-west, living between Wukari, Donga and Takum. The north-eastern Jukun are bounded by the Tangale people to the east and the Wurkun and Mumuye to the south; the south-western Jukun are bounded by the Chamba to the east, the Kutep and Tiv to the south, the Afo and Alago to the west, and the Goemai to the north....

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