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August 7, 2016

14 Rare Vintage Kodachrome Prints Captured People in Nigeria in the 1950s

Before the colonial period, the area that makes up modern Nigeria had an eventful history. More than 2,000 years ago, the Nok culture in the present Plateau state worked iron and produced sophisticated terra cotta sculptures. Linguistic evidence also shows that the Nigeria-Cameroon border area is the most likely origin of the Bantu groups of languages that now pervades most of sub-Saharan Africa.

The name Nigeria was taken from the Niger River running through the country. This name was allegedly coined in the late 19th century by British journalist Flora Shaw, who later married Baron Frederick Lugard, a British colonial administrator. The origin of the name Niger, which originally applied only to the middle reaches of the Niger River, is uncertain. The word is likely an alteration of the Tuareg name egerew n-igerewen used by inhabitants along the middle reaches of the river around Timbuktu prior to 19th-century European colonialism.

Modern-day Nigeria has been the site of numerous kingdoms and tribal states over the millennia. The modern state originated from British colonial rule beginning in the 19th century, and the merging of the Southern Nigeria Protectorate and Northern Nigeria Protectorate in 1914. The British set up administrative and legal structures whilst practising indirect rule through traditional chiefdoms. Nigeria became a formally independent federation in 1960, and plunged into a civil war from 1967 to 1970.

Here below is a small collection of 14 stunning color photos that show everyday life of Nigeria in the late 1950s.

(Photos from Austin Whiteside)


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