Sample Nigeria - History (Grades 6-8) Worksheet
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Nigeria - History
By Ekaterina Zhdanova-Redman
  

1     By all accounts, Nigeria is a diverse and very complex country. Within Nigeria, there are more than 250 different distinct cultures, many dating back thousands of years. Quite unfortunately, there is not much recorded Nigerian history. In fact, very little is known about Nigeria before the arrival of Europeans to the area in the 15th Century.
 
2     Ancient Nigerian history centers on the different tribes that lived in modern-day Nigeria. The earliest Nigerians were the tribe of Nok, who lived in northern Nigeria. They were craftspeople. The Noks disappeared by the 11th century, replaced by the state of Kanem, also in northern Nigeria. Most who lived in the state of Kanem practiced the Muslim religion. They were also relatively wealthy. The people of Kanem traded with travelers along the trans-Saharan trade route. It was a route between the Mediterranean Sea and West Africa. The people of northern, inland Nigeria lived alone and undisturbed until near the end of the 19th century.
 
3     Europeans discovered the southern areas of Nigeria along its coast in the 15th century. Portuguese sailors explored southern Nigeria and settled there. They also started a brutal slave trade that flourished for a full 300 years in Nigeria. The Portuguese, Dutch, British, and other European traders forced countless numbers of Nigerians into slavery. The coast of Nigeria became known as the "Slave Coast."

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