The attraction of the tree is universal and timeless; trees represent mystery, protection and worship. From the trees of good and evil in medieval manuscripts to the 19th century symbolist vision, trees have always intrigued and fascinated mankind. Contemporary artists, too, continue to be very fond of this element of nature, trying to capture its essence. The theme is an inexhaustible source of inspiration for artistic disciplines as diverse as painting, sculpture, video and photography.
The ethnographic literature of the 20th century focused mainly on the sculptural traditions of the numerous ethnic groups that populated Southern Nigeria while the more northern areas remained largely terra incognita. In 2013 Jan Strybol published a study on the sculpture of Northern Nigeria. He pointed out that in many parts of this region there are peoples who still had, at least until recently, their own sculptural tradition.