Terracotta head from the city of Ife, potentially depicting a king. The man is wearing an Ife crown. And the subject matter of most Ife art is centered around royal figures and their attendants. So king is a good guess.
Made by the Yoruba of today’s Nigeria, between 1100 and 1300 CE.
In the Ubang language of southern Nigeria, men and women speak different languages. While there are many words that men and women share, there are others which are different depending on their gender. It’s not a matter of adding a suffix or changing the tense – men’s words and women’s words are totally different, with different letters and different sounds.
Raised by their mothers and other women, boys grow up speaking the female language, but at age 10 they’re expected to switch to the male. “There is a stage the male will reach and he discovers he is not using his rightful language,” says Chief Oliver Ibang. “Nobody will tell him he should change to the male language. … When he starts speaking the men language, you know the maturity is coming into him.” Boys who do not make the switch by a certain age are considered abnormal.
According to Chief Ibang, the Ubang’s unique language(s) are from heaven. “God created Adam and Eve and they were Ubang people…” God had initially wanted every group to have two languages, but after giving the to the Ubang, God did the math and realized there were not enough languages for every group to get two. “So he stopped. That’s why Ubang has the benefit of two languages — we are different from other people in the world.”