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HomeGreek PhilosphyTracing the Unknown Origins of the Enigmatic Nomoli Figures

Tracing the Unknown Origins of the Enigmatic Nomoli Figures

Legend has it that the individuals of Sierra Leone in  Africa first uncovered tons of of extraordinary stone figures whereas working their land or trying to find diamonds. Discovered underground or inside caves, they’ve come to be referred to as Nomoli figures.

Despite being identified to Africanists, there may be little details about the true origins and objective of these enigmatic statues. This has paved the method for a plethora of curious conspiracy theories associated to  extraterrestrial exercise and large reptilian humanoids which recommend that the Nomoli figures date again so far as 19,000 years.

Nomoli figures on display at the British Museum. (John Atherton / CC BY-SA 2.0)

Nomoli figures on show at the British Museum. (John Atherton /  CC BY-SA 2.0 )

African Legends Surrounding the Nomoli Figures

The Nomoli figures type half of a number of historic legends, significantly in southern  Sierra Leone . Some declare that these Nomoli figures had been as soon as  angels who lived in the Heavens. However, as a consequence of their unhealthy habits, God punished them by turning them into people and sending them to Earth.

These enigmatic sculptures are stated to have served as a symbolic representations of these  fallen angels , a reminder of their banishment from the Heavens and their subsequent life on Earth as people. Such beliefs demonstrated the deep religious and cultural significance of the Nomoli figures, which proceed to fascinate and intrigue students and fans alike.

Another legend dictates that the  statues represented the former kings and chiefs of the Sierra Leone area, and that the native Temne individuals would carry out ceremonies throughout which they’d deal with the  stone figures  as in the event that they had been the historic leaders. The Temne had been ultimately displaced from the space when it was invaded by the Mende, and the traditions involving the Nomoli figures had been misplaced.

While this type of mythology might present some perception into the origins and functions of the stone collectible figurines, no single legend has been definitively recognized as the supply of the Nomoli figures. Today, some natives in Sierra Leone view the statues as the bringers of  good luck , supposed as  guardians. They place the statues in gardens and fields in the hope of bountiful harvests. In some instances, in instances of unhealthy harvest, the Nomoli statues are supposedly ritualistically whipped as punishment.

Detail of one of the Nomoli figures at the Royal Museum of Central Africa in Belgium. (Ji-Elle / CC BY-SA 3.0)

Detail of one of the Nomoli figures at the Royal Museum of Central Africa in Belgium. (Ji-Elle /  CC BY-SA 3.0 )

Physical Features of Nomoli Figures from Sierra Leone

There is a good deal of variation in the bodily properties and look of the many Nomoli statues. Carved from totally different supplies, together with soapstone,  ivory and granite, some of the Nomoli figures are small, with the bigger ones reaching heights of 11 inches (28 cm). They fluctuate in coloration, from white to yellow, brown or inexperienced.

The Nomoli figures are predominantly human, with their options reflecting a number of human races. However, some of the figures are of a semi-human type – hybrids of each people and animals. In some instances, the statues depict a human physique with a  lizard head or vice versa.

Other animals represented embody elephants, leopards and monkeys. The figures are sometimes disproportioned, with the heads being giant in comparison with the physique measurement. One statue depicts a human determine driving on the again of the elephant, with the human showing to be a lot bigger in measurement than his mount.

Is this a illustration of historic African legends of  giants, or merely a symbolic depiction of a person driving an elephant with no significance given to their relative measurement? One of the extra widespread options of the Nomoli figures is that of a big frightening-looking grownup determine accompanied by a toddler.

Carved Nomoli figure from Sierra Leone. (Science Museum / CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

Carved Nomoli determine from Sierra Leone. (Science Museum /  CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 )

“Outrageous” Theories: Mysterious Nomoli Figures & Ancient Aliens

The lack of clear details about the Nomoli figures has impressed a spread of conspiracy theories to elucidate their historical past. “In fact, some of the claims about these are really outrageous,” defined a baffled Kathy Curnow in an artwork historical past lecture posted by the  Palmer Museum of Art . Some  pseudo-historians have said that the Nomoli figures date again so far as 17000 BC, hypothesizing they show the existence of historic giants and even extraterrestrial contact.

There are even articles which affirm that when one of the statues was reduce open, a small, completely spherical steel ball was discovered inside, which might have required subtle shaping know-how in addition to the potential to create extraordinarily excessive melting temperatures.

These researchers have concluded that the steel spheres had been made of each chromium and metal, an odd discovery resulting from the incontrovertible fact that the earliest identified manufacturing of  metal occurred round 2000 BC. If the courting of the statues again to 17000 BC had been to be correct, how wouldn’t it attainable that the creators of the Nomoli statues had been utilizing and manipulating metal as much as 15,000 years beforehand?

Asserting that the Nomoli figures would have required excessive melting temperatures for his or her creation, or that they contained metal manipulated into completely  spherical balls , these theories have even prompt that they had been constructed by a extremely  superior previous civilization  and even  historic aliens . In following this line of hypothesis, they argue that the discovery raises fascinating inquiries about the origins and intentions behind the building of the Nomoli statues, together with their timeline and significance to their makers.

Left: Nomoli figure with opening containing metal ball. Right: X-ray of statue before it was opened, showing metal ball inside. (Project Avalon)

Left: Nomoli determine with opening containing steel ball. Right: X-ray of statue earlier than it was opened, exhibiting steel ball inside. ( Project Avalon )

You Can’t Date Stone: Problems with Dating the Nomoli Figures

Despite in depth analysis and scholarly investigation, a definitive clarification for the origins, building and performance of the Nomoli statues stays elusive. Regrettably, the absence of concrete proof has opened the door for pseudo-historians to proliferate their  unverified theories  on-line, resulting in a surfeit of deceptive data.

Based on stylistic comparisons, archaeologist John Atherton and historian Milan Kalous estimated that the Nomoli figures, which had been first talked about in European accounts in the mid-Fifteenth century, truly dated again to about the seventh or eighth century AD. Nevertheless, not everybody agrees on the courting and, in case you’re to imagine the whole lot you learn on the web, estimates have dated the figures to a while between 500 BC and 17000 BC. As Curnow confused, “you can’t date stone.”

While the Nomoli figures are diversified in form and sort, they’ve a uniform look that signifies a typical objective, which however stays unknown. Curator Frederick Lamp asserted that the figures had been an element of Temne tradition and custom, however that upon invasion by the Mende in the mid 1500s, the custom was misplaced as the villages had been displaced to different places.

With so many questions and uncertainties, we might by no means have definitive solutions as to the courting, origins and objective of the Nomoli figures. For now, they continue to be a powerful illustration of the historic African civilizations that preceded those who now stay in Sierra Leone.

Top picture: A detailed-up of one of the Nomoli figures at the British Museum. Source: John Atherton /  CC BY-SA 2.0

By M R Reese


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