View of the interior of the exhibition gallery

The mystical existence of stone images at Esie attracted the Colonial Government to establish the first National Museum in Nigeria at Esie town in 1945. The museum is a historical and cultural monument. The ages of the soapstone have not been scientifically determined, but some local inhabitants of Esie believe that the stone images are as old as creation. There had been several versions of stories of how the stone images came to be. Many authors collected their information through anthropological research on these stone images, others from literature search, and as well as from mental recollections from respectable elders in Esie. The book titled “The Stone Images of Esie, Nigeria” by Phillips Stevens, Jr. among others gave a version of the hypotheses surrounding the great mystery of Esie.
The stone images represent men, women, children and animals. They are of different sizes and shapes range in height from about ten centimeters to a little over a meter, stones weight varies from small fragment to the heaviest which is about one hundred and four kilograms. Lots of the images are seated on stools, some are standing, some have tribal marks on their faces; all reflecting the social status of the original people who were said to have been turned into images according to one of the local belief.

Highlights

  • On August 20, 2005, Omo Ibile Esie, NA presented free supply of over 8,000 notebooks and 2,000 pens and pencils to the three primary schools at Esie, namely St. Michael, St. Michael Nursery, and Jamaat Nurul Islam Community Primary School.
  • In December 2006, Omo Ibile Esie, NA presented free supply of 12,000 notebooks to the three primary schools at Esie.
  • Omo Ibile Esie, NA has consistently met its quota of annual due to the National Headquarter at Esie for the joint socio-economic development of the fatherland.

The Esie Museum