Curaçao is a Lesser Antilles island in the southern Caribbean Sea and the Dutch Caribbean region, about 65 km north of the Venezuelan coast. It is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; the country was part of the Curaçao and Dependencies colony and is now formally called the Country of Curaçao. Curaçao has a population over 160,000 in an area of 444 km2 and its capital is Willemstad. Before the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles on 10 October 2010, Curaçao was administered as the "Island Territory of Curaçao", one of five island territories of the former Netherlands Antilles. In the 16th and 17th centuries, sailors on long voyages would get scurvy from lack of vitamin C. According to some accounts, Portuguese sailors who were ill were left at the island now known as Curaçao; when their ship returned, they had recovered cured from scurvy after eating fruit with vitamin C. From on the Portuguese referred to this as Ilha da Curação. Another explanation is that it is derived from the Portuguese word for heart, referring to the island as a centre in trade.
An unstressed o in Continental Portuguese is pronounced, so the Portuguese word for heart, coração, is pronounced. Spanish traders took the name over as Curaçao, followed by the Dutch. Another explanation is that Curaçao was the name by which the indigenous peoples of the island identified themselves, their autonym. Early Spanish accounts support this theory, as they refer to the indigenous peoples as Indios Curaçaos, or "healing Indians". From 1525, the island was featured on Spanish maps as Curaçote and Curasaore. By the 17th century, it appeared on most maps in Portuguese as Curazao. On a map created by Hieronymus Cock in 1562 in Antwerp, the island was referred to as Qúracao; the original inhabitants of Curaçao were Arawak people. Their ancestors had migrated to the island from the mainland of South America hundreds of years before Europeans arrived, they were believed to have migrated from the Amazon Basin. The first Europeans recorded as seeing the island were members of a Spanish expedition under the leadership of Alonso de Ojeda in 1499.
The Spaniards enslaved most of the Arawak as their labour force. They sometimes forcibly relocated the survivors to other colonies. In 1634, after the Netherlands achieved independence from Spain caused by Eighty Years' War, Dutch colonists started to occupy the island. European powers were trying to establish bases in the Caribbean; the Dutch West India Company founded the capital of Willemstad on the banks of an inlet called the Schottegat. Curaçao had been ignored by colonists; the natural harbour of Willemstad proved to be an ideal spot for trade. Commerce and shipping -- and piracy -- became. In addition, in 1662, the Dutch West India Company made Curaçao a centre for the Atlantic slave trade bringing slaves here for sale elsewhere in the Caribbean and on the mainland of South America. Sephardic Jews with ancestors from the Iberian Peninsula settled here with the Dutch and in then-Dutch Brazil. In the Franco-Dutch War, Count Jean II d'Estrées planned to attack Curaçao, his fleet – 12 men of war, three fireships, two transports, a hospital ship, 12 privateers – met with disaster, losing seven men-of-war and two other ships when they struck reefs off the Las Aves archipelago.
They had made a serious navigational error, hitting the reefs on 11 May 1678, a week after setting sail from Saint Kitts. Curaçao marked the events by a day of thanksgiving, celebrated for decades into the 18th century, to commemorate the island's escape from being invaded by the French. Although a few plantations were established on the island by the Dutch, the first profitable industry established on Curaçao was salt mining; the mineral was a lucrative export at the time and was a major factor for the island being part of international commerce. Many Dutch colonists grew affluent from the slave trade, the city built impressive colonial buildings. Curaçao architecture blends Dutch and Spanish colonial styles; the wide range of historic buildings in and around Willemstad has resulted in the capital being designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Landhouses and West African style kas di pal'i maishi are scattered all over the island; some can be visited. In 1795, a major slave revolt took place under the leaders Tula Rigaud, Louis Mercier, Bastian Karpata, Pedro Wakao.
Up to 4000 slaves on the northwest section of the island revolted. More than 1,000 slaves took part in extended gunfights. After a month, the slave owners suppressed the revolt. Curaçao's proximity to South America resulted in interaction with cultures of the coastal areas more than a century after independence of Netherlands from Spain. Architectural similarities can be seen between the 19th-century parts of Willemstad and the nearby Venezuelan city of Coro in Falcón State; the latter has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Netherlands established economic ties with Viceroyalty of New Granada, which includes present-day countries of Colombia and Venezuela. In the 19th century, Curaçaoans such as Manuel Piar and Luis Brión were prominently engaged in the wars of independen
Northern Mariana Islands
The Northern Mariana Islands the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, is an insular area and commonwealth of the United States consisting of 14 islands in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. The CNMI includes the 14 northernmost islands in the Mariana Archipelago except the southernmost island of the chain, a separate U. S. territory. The CNMI and Guam are the westernmost territory of the United States; the United States Department of the Interior cites a landmass of 183.5 square miles. According to the 2010 United States Census, 53,883 people were living in the CNMI at that time; the vast majority of the population resides on Saipan and Rota. The other islands of the Northern Marianas are sparsely inhabited; the administrative center is a village in northwestern Saipan. However, most publications consider Saipan to be the capital because the island is governed as a single municipality; the first people of the Mariana Islands immigrated at some point between 4000 BC and 2000 BC from Southeast Asia.
After first contact with Spaniards, they became known as the Chamorros, a Spanish word similar to Chamori, the name of the indigenous caste system's higher division. The ancient people of the Marianas raised colonnades of megalithic capped pillars called latte stones upon which they built their homes; the Spanish reported that by the time of their arrival, the largest of these were in ruins, that the Chamorros believed the ancestors who had erected the pillars lived in an era when people possessed supernatural abilities. Archeologists in 2013 posited that the first people to settle in the Marianas may have made what was at that point the longest uninterrupted ocean-crossing voyage in human history, that archeological evidence indicates that Tinian might have been the first Pacific island outside of Asia to be settled; the first European explorer of the area, the Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan, arrived in 1521. He landed on Guam, the southernmost island of the Marianas, claimed the archipelago for Spain.
The Spanish ships were met offshore by the native Chamorros, who delivered refreshments and helped themselves to a small boat belonging to Magellan's fleet. This led to a cultural clash: in Chamorro tradition, little property was private and taking something one needed, such as a boat for fishing, did not count as stealing; the Spanish did not understand this custom, fought the Chamorros until the boat was recovered. Three days after he had been welcomed on his arrival, Magellan fled the archipelago. Spain regarded the islands as annexed and made them part of the Spanish East Indies. In 1734, the Spanish built a royal palace in Guam for the governor of the islands, its remains are visible in the 21st century. Guam operated as an important stopover between Manila and Mexico for galleons carrying gold between the Philippines and Spain; some galleons sunk in Guam remain. In 1668, Father Diego Luis de San Vitores renamed the islands Las Marianas in honor of his patroness the Spanish regent Mariana of Austria, widow of Felipe IV.
Most of the islands' native population died from Spanish diseases or married non-Chamorro settlers under Spanish rule. New settlers from the Philippines and the Caroline Islands, were brought to repopulate the islands; the Chamorro population recovered, Chamorro and Refaluwasch languages and other ethnic differences remain in the Marianas. During the 17th century, Spanish colonists forcibly moved the Chamorros to Guam, to encourage assimilation and conversion to Roman Catholicism. By the time they were allowed to return to the Northern Marianas, many Carolinians from present-day eastern Yap State and western Chuuk State had settled in the Marianas. Both languages, as well as English, are now official in the commonwealth; the Northern Marianas experienced an influx of immigration from the Carolines during the 19th century. Both this Carolinian subethnicity and Carolinians in the Carolines archipelago refer to themselves as the Refaluwasch; the indigenous Chamoru word for the same group of people is gu'palao.
They are referred to as "Carolinians", though unlike the other two monikers, this can mean those who live in the Carolines and who may have no affiliation with the Marianas. The conquering Spanish did not focus attempts at cultural suppression against Carolinian immigrants, whose immigration they allowed during a period when the indigenous Chamoru majority was being subjugated with land alienation, forced relocations and internment. Carolinians in the Marianas continue to be fluent in the language, have maintained many of the cultural distinctions and traditions of their ethnicity's land of ancestral origin. Following its loss during the Spanish–American War of 1898, Spain ceded Guam to the United States and sold the remainder of the Marianas, along with the Caroline Islands, to Germany under the German–Spanish Treaty of 1899. Germany administered the islands as part of its colony of German New Guinea and did little in terms of development. Early in World War I, Japan invaded the Northern Marianas.
In 1919, the League of Nations awarded all of Germany's islands in the Pacific Ocean located north of the Equator, including the Northern Marianas, under mandate to Japan. Under this arrangement, the Jap
The Cook Islands is a self-governing island country in the South Pacific Ocean in free association with New Zealand. It comprises 15 islands; the Cook Islands' Exclusive Economic Zone covers 1,800,000 square kilometres of ocean. New Zealand is responsible for the Cook Islands' defence and foreign affairs, but they are exercised in consultation with the Cook Islands. In recent times, the Cook Islands have adopted an independent foreign policy. Although Cook Islanders are citizens of New Zealand, they have the status of Cook Islands nationals, not given to other New Zealand citizens; the Cook Islands has been an active member of the Pacific Community since 1980. The Cook Islands' main population centres are on the island of Rarotonga, where there is an international airport. There is a larger population of Cook Islanders in New Zealand itself. With about 100,000 visitors travelling to the islands in the 2010–11 financial year, tourism is the country's main industry, the leading element of the economy, ahead of offshore banking and marine and fruit exports.
In March 2019 it was reported that the Cook Islands had plans to change its name and remove the reference to Captain James Cook in favour of "a title that reflects its'Polynesian nature'". The Cook Islands were first settled in the 6th century by Polynesian people who migrated from Tahiti, an island 1,154 kilometres to the northeast. Spanish ships visited the islands in the 16th century; the first written record came in 1595 when the island of Pukapuka was sighted by Spanish sailor Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira, who gave it the name San Bernardo. Pedro Fernandes de Queirós, a Portuguese captain working for the Spanish crown, made the first recorded European landing in the islands when he set foot on Rakahanga in 1606, calling the island Gente Hermosa. British navigator Captain James Cook arrived in 1773 and again in 1777 giving the island of Manuae the name Hervey Island; the Hervey Islands came to be applied to the entire southern group. The name "Cook Islands", in honour of Cook, first appeared on a Russian naval chart published in the 1820s.
In 1813 John Williams, a missionary on the Endeavour made the first recorded sighting of Rarotonga. The first recorded landing on Rarotonga by Europeans was in 1814 by the Cumberland; the islands saw no more Europeans until English missionaries arrived in 1821. Christianity took hold in the culture and many islanders are Christians today; the islands were a popular stop in the 19th century for whaling ships from the United States and Australia. They visited, from at least 1826, to obtain water and firewood, their favourite islands were Rarotonga, Aitutaki and Penrhyn. The Cook Islands became a British protectorate in 1888 because of community fears that France might occupy the islands as it had Tahiti. On 6 September 1900, the islanders's leaders presented a petition asking that the islands be annexed as British territory. On 8 and 9 October 1900, seven instruments of cession of Rarotonga and other islands were signed by their chiefs and people. A British Proclamation was issued, stating that the cessions were accepted and the islands declared parts of Her Britannic Majesty's dominions.
However, it did not include Aitutaki. Though the inhabitants regarded themselves as British subjects, the Crown's title was unclear until the island was formally annexed by a Proclamation dated 9 October 1900. In 1901 the islands were included within the boundaries of the Colony of New Zealand by Order in Council under the Colonial Boundaries Act, 1895 of the United Kingdom; the boundary change became effective on 11 June 1901, the Cook Islands have had a formal relationship with New Zealand since that time. When the British Nationality and New Zealand Citizenship Act 1948 came into effect on 1 January 1949, Cook Islanders who were British subjects automatically gained New Zealand citizenship; the islands remained a New Zealand dependent territory until the New Zealand Government decided to grant them self-governing status. Albert Henry of the Cook Islands Party was elected as the first Premier. Henry led the nation until 1978, when he resigned, he was succeeded by Tom Davis of the Democratic Party.
In March 2019 it was reported that the Cook Islands had plans to change its name and remove the reference to Captain James Cook in favour of "a title that reflects its'Polynesian nature'". The Cook Islands are in the South Pacific Ocean, northeast of New Zealand, between French Polynesia and American Samoa. There are 15 major islands spread over 2,200,000 km2 of ocean, divided into two distinct groups: the Southern Cook Islands and the Northern Cook Islands of coral atolls; the islands were formed by volcanic activity. The climate is moderate to tropical; the Cook Islands consist of two reefs. The table is ordered from north to south. Population figures from the 2016 census; the Cook Islands is a representative democracy with a parliamentary system in an associated state relationship with New Zealand. Executive power is exercised with the Chief Minister as head of government. Legislative power is vested in the Parliament of the Cook Islands. There is a pluriform multi-party system; the Judiciary is inde
Australia the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area; the neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea and East Timor to the north. The population of 25 million is urbanised and concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, its largest city is Sydney; the country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians for about 60,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century, it is documented. After the European exploration of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, who named it New Holland, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia's national day; the population grew in subsequent decades, by the 1850s most of the continent had been explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established.
On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories. Being the oldest and driest inhabited continent, with the least fertile soils, Australia has a landmass of 7,617,930 square kilometres. A megadiverse country, its size gives it a wide variety of landscapes, with deserts in the centre, tropical rainforests in the north-east and mountain ranges in the south-east. A gold rush began in Australia in the early 1850s, its population density, 2.8 inhabitants per square kilometre, remains among the lowest in the world. Australia generates its income from various sources including mining-related exports, telecommunications and manufacturing. Indigenous Australian rock art is the oldest and richest in the world, dating as far back as 60,000 years and spread across hundreds of thousands of sites. Australia is a developed country, with the world's 14th-largest economy.
It has a high-income economy, with the world's tenth-highest per capita income. It is a regional power, has the world's 13th-highest military expenditure. Australia has the world's ninth-largest immigrant population, with immigrants accounting for 26% of the population. Having the third-highest human development index and the eighth-highest ranked democracy globally, the country ranks in quality of life, education, economic freedom, civil liberties and political rights, with all its major cities faring well in global comparative livability surveys. Australia is a member of the United Nations, G20, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Pacific Islands Forum and the ASEAN Plus Six mechanism; the name Australia is derived from the Latin Terra Australis, a name used for a hypothetical continent in the Southern Hemisphere since ancient times. When Europeans first began visiting and mapping Australia in the 17th century, the name Terra Australis was applied to the new territories.
Until the early 19th century, Australia was best known as "New Holland", a name first applied by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in 1644 and subsequently anglicised. Terra Australis still saw occasional usage, such as in scientific texts; the name Australia was popularised by the explorer Matthew Flinders, who said it was "more agreeable to the ear, an assimilation to the names of the other great portions of the earth". The first time that Australia appears to have been used was in April 1817, when Governor Lachlan Macquarie acknowledged the receipt of Flinders' charts of Australia from Lord Bathurst. In December 1817, Macquarie recommended to the Colonial Office. In 1824, the Admiralty agreed that the continent should be known by that name; the first official published use of the new name came with the publication in 1830 of The Australia Directory by the Hydrographic Office. Colloquial names for Australia include "Oz" and "the Land Down Under". Other epithets include "the Great Southern Land", "the Lucky Country", "the Sunburnt Country", "the Wide Brown Land".
The latter two both derive from Dorothea Mackellar's 1908 poem "My Country". Human habitation of the Australian continent is estimated to have begun around 65,000 to 70,000 years ago, with the migration of people by land bridges and short sea-crossings from what is now Southeast Asia; these first inhabitants were the ancestors of modern Indigenous Australians. Aboriginal Australian culture is one of the oldest continual civilisations on earth. At the time of first European contact, most Indigenous Australians were hunter-gatherers with complex economies and societies. Recent archaeological finds suggest. Indigenous Australians have an oral culture with spiritual values based on reverence for the land and a belief in the Dreamtime; the Torres Strait Islanders, ethnically Melanesian, obtained their livelihood from seasonal horticulture and the resources of their reefs and seas. The northern coasts and waters of Australia were visited s
Tokyo Dome City
Tokyo Dome City, referred to as Big Egg City before January 1, 2000, is an entertainment complex in Bunkyo, Japan. It includes the world's largest roofed baseball stadium, known as Tokyo Dome. In May 2003, a spa resort known as LaQua opened for business near Tokyo Dome City Attractions, it hosts character shows for Toei Company's Toei Superheroes, including the Kamen Rider and Super Sentai series. The Tokyo Dome City contains the Tokyo Dome Hotel, a 43-story hotel, visible from the street and from the Tokyo Subway Suidobashi Station, only two blocks away. Tokyo Dome baseball stadium LaQua a building that houses a spa, fitness center and shopping mall amusement park rides including Big O and Thunder Dolphin Tokyo Dome City Attractions amusement park Theatre G-Rosso Tokyo Dome Hotel Yellow Building Sauna Tokyo Dome, Korakuen Hall sports arena Blue Building Tokyo Dome Bowling Center, Off-track betting MEETS PORT Tokyo Dome City Hall Kōrakuen Station of several subway lines, integrated within the complex Kasuga Station of several subway lines, to the north Suidōbashi Station, a JR line station across a street from Tokyo Dome City Koishikawa Korakuen Garden is to the west of the area.
Tokyo Dome City official website
Chile the Republic of Chile, is a South American country occupying a long, narrow strip of land between the Andes to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, the Drake Passage in the far south. Chilean territory includes the Pacific islands of Juan Fernández, Salas y Gómez and Easter Island in Oceania. Chile claims about 1,250,000 square kilometres of Antarctica, although all claims are suspended under the Antarctic Treaty; the arid Atacama Desert in northern Chile contains great mineral wealth, principally copper. The small central area dominates in terms of population and agricultural resources, is the cultural and political center from which Chile expanded in the late 19th century when it incorporated its northern and southern regions. Southern Chile is rich in forests and grazing lands, features a string of volcanoes and lakes; the southern coast is a labyrinth of fjords, canals, twisting peninsulas, islands.
Spain conquered and colonized the region in the mid-16th century, replacing Inca rule in the north and centre, but failing to conquer the independent Mapuche who inhabited what is now south-central Chile. After declaring its independence from Spain in 1818, Chile emerged in the 1830s as a stable authoritarian republic. In the 19th century, Chile saw significant economic and territorial growth, ending Mapuche resistance in the 1880s and gaining its current northern territory in the War of the Pacific after defeating Peru and Bolivia. In the 1960s and 1970s, the country experienced severe left-right political polarization and turmoil; this development culminated with the 1973 Chilean coup d'état that overthrew Salvador Allende's democratically elected left-wing government and instituted a 16-year-long right-wing military dictatorship that left more than 3,000 people dead or missing. The regime, headed by Augusto Pinochet, ended in 1990 after it lost a referendum in 1988 and was succeeded by a center-left coalition which ruled through four presidencies until 2010.
The modern sovereign state of Chile is among South America's most economically and stable and prosperous nations, with a high-income economy and high living standards. It leads Latin American nations in rankings of human development, income per capita, state of peace, economic freedom, low perception of corruption, it ranks high regionally in sustainability of the state, democratic development. Chile is a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, joining in 2010, it has the lowest homicide rate in the Americas after Canada. Chile is a founding member of the United Nations, the Union of South American Nations and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States. There are various theories about the origin of the word Chile. According to 17th-century Spanish chronicler Diego de Rosales, the Incas called the valley of the Aconcagua "Chili" by corruption of the name of a Picunche tribal chief called Tili, who ruled the area at the time of the Incan conquest in the 15th century.
Another theory points to the similarity of the valley of the Aconcagua with that of the Casma Valley in Peru, where there was a town and valley named Chili. Other theories say Chile may derive its name from a Native American word meaning either "ends of the earth" or "sea gulls". Another origin attributed to chilli is the onomatopoeic cheele-cheele—the Mapuche imitation of the warble of a bird locally known as trile; the Spanish conquistadors heard about this name from the Incas, the few survivors of Diego de Almagro's first Spanish expedition south from Peru in 1535–36 called themselves the "men of Chilli". Almagro is credited with the universalization of the name Chile, after naming the Mapocho valley as such; the older spelling "Chili" was in use in English until at least 1900 before switching to "Chile". Stone tool evidence indicates humans sporadically frequented the Monte Verde valley area as long as 18,500 years ago. About 10,000 years ago, migrating indigenous Peoples settled in fertile valleys and coastal areas of what is present-day Chile.
Settlement sites from early human habitation include Monte Verde, Cueva del Milodón and the Pali-Aike Crater's lava tube. The Incas extended their empire into what is now northern Chile, but the Mapuche resisted many attempts by the Inca Empire to subjugate them, despite their lack of state organization, they fought against his army. The result of the bloody three-day confrontation known as the Battle of the Maule was that the Inca conquest of the territories of Chile ended at the Maule river. In 1520, while attempting to circumnavigate the globe, Ferdinand Magellan discovered the southern passage now named after him thus becoming the first European to set foot on what is now Chile; the next Europeans to reach Chile were Diego de Almagro and his band of Spanish conquistadors, who came from Peru in 1535 seeking gold. The Spanish encountered various cultures that supported themselves principally through slash-and-burn agriculture and hunting; the conquest of Chile began in earnest in 1540 and was carried out by Pedro de Valdivia, one of Francisco Pizarro's lieutenants, who founded the city of Santiago on 12 February 1541.
Although the Spanish did not find the extensive gold and silver they sought, they recognize
Nigeria the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal republic in West Africa, bordering Niger in the north, Chad in the northeast, Cameroon in the east, Benin in the west. Its coast in the south is located on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean; the federation comprises 36 states and 1 Federal Capital Territory, where the capital, Abuja, is located. The constitution defines Nigeria as a democratic secular country. Nigeria has been home to states over the millennia; the modern state originated from British colonial rule beginning in the 19th century, took its present territorial shape with the merging of the Southern Nigeria Protectorate and Northern Nigeria Protectorate in 1914. The British set up administrative and legal structures while practising indirect rule through traditional chiefdoms. Nigeria became a formally independent federation in 1960, it experienced a civil war from 1967 to 1970. It thereafter alternated between democratically elected civilian governments and military dictatorships until it achieved a stable democracy in 1999, with the 2011 presidential election considered the first to be reasonably free and fair.
Nigeria is referred to as the "Giant of Africa", owing to its large population and economy. With 186 million inhabitants, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh most populous country in the world. Nigeria has the third-largest youth population in the world, after India and China, with more than 90 million of its population under age 18; the country is viewed as a multinational state as it is inhabited by 250 ethnic groups, of which the three largest are the Hausa and Yoruba. The official language is English. Nigeria is divided in half between Christians, who live in the southern part of the country, Muslims, who live in the north. A minority of the population practice religions indigenous to Nigeria, such as those native to the Igbo and Yoruba ethnicities; as of 2015, Nigeria is the world's 20th largest economy, worth more than $500 billion and $1 trillion in terms of nominal GDP and purchasing power parity respectively. It overtook South Africa to become Africa's largest economy in 2014.
The 2013 debt-to-GDP ratio was 11 percent. Nigeria is considered to be an emerging market by the World Bank. However, it has a "low" Human Development Index, ranking 152nd in the world. Nigeria is a member of the MINT group of countries, which are seen as the globe's next "BRIC-like" economies, it is listed among the "Next Eleven" economies set to become among the biggest in the world. Nigeria is a founding member of the African Union and a member of many other international organizations, including the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations and OPEC; the name Nigeria was taken from the Niger River running through the country. This name was coined in the late 19th century by British journalist Flora Shaw, who married Lord Lugard, a British colonial administrator; the origin of the name Niger, which applied only to the middle reaches of the Niger River, is uncertain. The word is an alteration of the Tuareg name egerew n-igerewen used by inhabitants along the middle reaches of the river around Timbuktu prior to 19th-century European colonialism.
The Nok civilisation of Northern Nigeria flourished between 500 BC and AD 200, producing life-sized terracotta figures that are some of the earliest known sculptures in Sub-Saharan Africa. Further north, the cities Kano and Katsina have a recorded history dating to around 999 AD. Hausa kingdoms and the Kanem–Bornu Empire prospered as trade posts between North and West Africa; the Kingdom of Nri of the Igbo people consolidated in the 10th century and continued until it lost its sovereignty to the British in 1911. Nri was ruled by the Eze Nri, the city of Nri is considered to be the foundation of Igbo culture. Nri and Aguleri, where the Igbo creation myth originates, are in the territory of the Umeuri clan. Members of the clan trace their lineages back to the patriarchal king-figure Eri. In West Africa, the oldest bronzes made using the lost-wax process were from Igbo-Ukwu, a city under Nri influence; the Yoruba kingdoms of Ife and Oyo in southwestern Nigeria became prominent in the 12th and 14th centuries, respectively.
The oldest signs of human settlement at Ife's current site date back to the 9th century, its material culture includes terracotta and bronze figures. Oyo, at its territorial zenith in the late 17th to early 18th centuries, extended its influence from western Nigeria to modern-day Togo; the Edo's Benin Empire is located in southwestern Nigeria. Benin's power lasted between the 19th centuries, their dominance reached further. At the beginning of the 19th century, Usman dan Fodio directed a successful jihad and created and led the centralised Fulani Empire; the territory controlled by the resultant state included much of modern-day northern and central Nigeria. For centuries, various peoples in modern-day Nigeria traded overland with traders from North Africa. Cities in the area became regional centres in a broad network of trade routes that spanned western and northern Africa. In the 16th century, Portuguese explorers were the first Europeans to begin significant, direct trade with peoples of modern-day Nigeria, at the port they named Lago