"In the region of present-day Nigeria, clay as a highly familiar medium has been the vehicle for producing likenesses of exalted individuals as early as 500 BCE. Striking for its fluid sense of immediacy and subtlety of expression, the great creative sculptural output in fired clay at Ife reflects the efforts of many different artists over an extended period of time.
"No doubt clay's easy availability allowed a greater freedom to experiment than metal did, and a variety of clay—each distinguished by the unique mineral composition that determined its locale—was harnessed for the manufacture of pottery and sculpture.
"In both instances, overlapping coils of clay were used to build upward by repeatedly adding a length to the end of the previous one. While traces of these coils were always smoothed away from the inner surfaces of utilitarian receptacles, they remained visible on the hollowed interiors of many sculptures, which were built up by hand in section from moist clay and then allowed to dry in the sun, after which finishing details might be incised and surfaces wetted to achieve a smoother finish."
Extract from: Heroic Africans: Legendary Leaders, Iconic Sculptures
© 2011 The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Ife Head #01 • Barbier-Mueller Museum, Geneva • Access # 1015-176 • Reproduced in African Terra Cottas, A Millenary Heritage edited by Floriane Morin & Boris Wastiau (Musée Barbier-Mueller & Somogy Editions d’Art, 2008), p. 203
Ife Head #02 • The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, MN • The John R. Van Derlip Fund • Accession # 95.84 • Reproduced in Heroic Africans, Legendary Leaders, Iconic Sculptures edited by Alisa LaGamma (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2011), p.45
Ife Head #04 • Private collection
Ife Head #05 • Private collection
Ife Head #06 • Private collection
Ife Head #07 • Private collection
Ife Head #08 • Private collection
Ife Head #09 • Private collection
Ife Head #10 • Private collection
See here a few Ife head 3D scans: