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Yoruba: In the west, the Yoruba developed complex, powerful city-states.

The first of these important states was Ile-Ife, which according to Yoruba mythology was the center of the universe.

There are also museums, festivals, music and dance, a rich cultural melange right down to everyday traditional markets. mi.) Nigeria is the 14th largest country in Africa.

These are just some of the spectacular sights and sensual delights awaiting the traveler to Nigeria. Its coastline, on the Gulf of Guinea, stretches 774 km (480 mi.).

Ife is the site of a unique art form first uncovered in thel93Os.

Naturalistic terracotta, bronze heads and other artifacts dating as far back as the 10th Century show just how early the Yoruba developed an advanced civilization.

Inland, around the two great rivers, the wet season lasts from April-Oct. Temperatures are highest from Feb-April in the south and March June in the north; they're lowest in July and Aug. HISTORY Virtually all the native races of Africa are represented in Nigeria, hence the great diversity of her people and culture.

It was in Nigeria that the Bantu and Semi Bantu, migrating from southern and central Africa, intermingled with the Sudanese.

Because of these conflicts, the Fulanis, led by Usman Dan Fodio in 1804, successfully challenged the Hausa States and set up the Hausa-Fulani Caliphate with headquarters in Sokoto, commanding a broad area from Katsina in the far north to Ilorin, across the River Niger.

Later, other groups such as Shuwa-Arabs, the Tuaregs, and the Fulanis, who are concentrated in the far north, entered northern Nigeria in migratory waves across the Sahara Desert.

The earliest occupants of Nigeria settled in the forest belt and in the Niger Delta region.

Later, other Yoruba cities challenged Ife for supremacy, and Oyo became the most powerful West African kingdom in the 16th and 17th Centuries.

The armies of the Oyo king (Alafin) dominated other Yoruba cities and even forced tribute from the ruler of Dahomey.

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Benin's power reached its apex in the 16th Century.

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