The Iron Working Industry in Precolonial Nigeria: An Appraisal

Abiye E. Ichaba


That the traditional iron working industry was a well established industry in many Nigerian communities several centuries before the British imperial interests in Nigeria are not contestable judging by archaeological and historical records. The industry played pivotal roles in agricultural food production, urbanization, warfare and socio-cultural developments. Inspite of these, there has not been a concise effort in appraising the nature and state of the industry in terms of continuities, adaptations and changes. This paper, appraises the state of the industry in some pre-colonial communities based primarily on archaeological and historical evidence. Through this, local adaptations, borrowings, and the relevance of the industry in the various communities are pointed out.


Iron working; Iron smelting and blacksmithing; Appraisal

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