Cornrow braids are not only widespread in Africa, they are also quite ancient. This clay sculpture with cornrows is from the ancient Nok civilization of Nigeria. It may be as old as 500 B.C. As Peters (1990) notes in her essay on black hairstyle history: "Hieroglyphs and sculptures dating back thousands of years illustrate the attention Africans have paid to their hair. Braids were etched into the back of the head of the majestic sphinx."