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Interesting Images From Precolonial And Early Colonial Africa - Culture (1) - Nairaland

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Early Colonial Views Of Igbos And Yorubas In Sierra-leone.. / Colonial Alaigbo (Igboland) in Pictures / Was Prostitution Part of Our Culture during The Precolonial Period? (1) (2) (3) (4)

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Re: Interesting Images From Precolonial And Early Colonial Africa by PhysicsQED(m): 5:28am On Apr 12, 2013
Ishilove: The drawing of that punt seems exaggerated. It would have taken more than two men to row a water vessel of that size.

That does seem true. Of the written references to large African canoes that I've come across, they almost always mention there being many rowers.
Re: Interesting Images From Precolonial And Early Colonial Africa by PhysicsQED(m): 5:31am On Apr 12, 2013
Ishilove:
I concur. The pre-colonial African society, if anything were almost Victorian in issues related to s.ex and intimate explicitness was disallowed in many societies.

I'm pretty sure different groups probably had different attitudes to s.ex. Since there was cultural variation in other aspects, there was probably cultural variation across different groups with regard to promiscuity and s3xually explicit imagery.
Re: Interesting Images From Precolonial And Early Colonial Africa by PhysicsQED(m): 5:42am On Apr 12, 2013
pleep: Victorian intimate conservatism was all about clothing. Covering the ankles,the ears and sometimes hair... African cultures attiudes about Unclothedness were completely different.

Africa was/is hot. Victorian era Britain was not, and was often cold. The weather difference is significant as far as clothing choices.

Clothing in Africa, except for the Muslim areas that probably absorbed some Islamic religious ideas about dressing, was mostly really about style/fashion, religion, and utility.

Inferring what a group's s3xual mores were from their dressing could also be misleading not only because of the heat issue, but because some groups could have been in cultures where a woman's b.reasts or a man's nak.edness were viewed innocently as just nak.edness, and not really as something s3xually explicit or some kind of s.exual exhibitionism.

This is not to say that the opposite could not have been true as well - there could have been groups that celebrated phallic or other s3xual imagery out of a deliberate desire to appreciate or promote s3xuality.

But in the case of those pillars I originally posted, they do seem to be purely religious/spiritual. Comparable objects (physically, not necessarily culturally) that are also non-s3xual but also have a phallic shape would probably be totem poles in non-African cultures.
Re: Interesting Images From Precolonial And Early Colonial Africa by PhysicsQED(m): 5:48am On Apr 12, 2013


Publication: 1917 (?). Angoulvant, G. Guide du commerce et de la colonisation à la Côte d'Ivoire.

Original language: French

Caption translation: Fetish house in Bas Cavally.

Caption: Case fétiche dans le Bas Cavally.

Text translation: "The religion of the peoples of the lagoons is fetishism. They still believe in the existence of spirits who serve as intermediaries between humans and the divinity." (p. 22)

Text: “La religion des peuplades des lagunes est le fétichisme. Elles croient encore à l’existence de génies qui servent d’intermédiaries entre les humains et la divinité.” (p. 22)

Illustration technique: b/w field photograph

Keywords:
• Bas Cavally (Country, region, place)
• Cote d'Ivoire (Country, region, place)
• Lagoon (Country, region, place)
• architecture (Object name, type)
• ritual house (Object name, type)
• roof ornament (Object name, type)
• shrine (Object name, type)
• Kru (Style, culture group)


[The comment from the writer that I highlighted in bold above is ironic considering that Christianity requires basically the same thing (the 'Holy Spirit').]
Re: Interesting Images From Precolonial And Early Colonial Africa by PhysicsQED(m): 6:21am On Apr 12, 2013


Publication: 1890. Wissman, Hermann. Unter deutscher Flagge quer durch Afrika von West nach Ost.

Original language: German

Caption translation: House of the chief of Tupende.

Caption: Häuptlingshaus der Tupende.

Illustration technique: field engraving

Keywords:
• Congo-Kinshasa (Country, region, place)
• carved wood (Materials and techniques)
• animal (Notable features)
• headdress (Notable features)
• architecture (Notable features)
• caryatid (Notable features)
• chief's house (Notable features)
• standing figure (Notable features)
• finial (Object name, type)
• roof ornament (Object name, type)
• sculpture (Object name, type)
• Pende (Style, culture group)
Re: Interesting Images From Precolonial And Early Colonial Africa by PhysicsQED(m): 6:59am On Apr 12, 2013


Publication: 1910. Eine Reise durch die Deutschen Kolonien, Vol. II.

Original language: German

Caption translation: Pictures from Bamum

Caption: Bilder von Bamum

Illustration technique: b/w field photograph

Keywords:
• Cameroon (Country, region, place)
• Fumban (Country, region, place)
• thatch (Notable features)
• paired posts (Notable features)
• two-headed serpent (Notable features)
• house (Object name, type)
• architecture (Object name, type)
• Bamum (Style, culture group)
Re: Interesting Images From Precolonial And Early Colonial Africa by PhysicsQED(m): 7:04am On Apr 12, 2013


Publication: 1914. Thorbecke, Marie Pauline. Auf der Savanne: Tagebuch einer Kamerun-Reise.

Original language: German

Caption translation: Entrance hall in the chief's court of Bamum

Caption: Empfangshalle im Häuptlingsgehöst zu Bamum

Text translation: “The more we approach the chief’s square, the closer homesteads and houses stand together. At last there are actual streets, narrow and shadowy like Italian ones. This is the city of the chief’s women, in which each woman occupies one house on her own. Then the huge palace of the chief stands on its own on the wide square. Many, many quadratic houses are built next to one another and the pitched roofs are connected like saddles, forming a coherent, rectangular complex of buildings. The narrow side with four big entrance gates shows carved posts as support columns, a couple of huge drums can be seen in the dark doorways.” (p. 49) „The huge building is indeed noble and of royal beauty. Inside large courtyards span among the high dim rooms and dark, pitch-dark corridors. The sun shines in friendly; an open access balcony runs around whose roof is supported by carved columns; trees are shadowing grey old gravestones in the middle. Here the chief welcomes visitors, here he administers the law.” (p. 52)

Text: „Je näher wir dem Häuptlingsplatz kommen, um so dichter liegen Gehöfte und Häuser beisammen, zuletzt sind es richtige Strassen, eng und schattig, wie italienische. Das ist die Frauenstadt des Häuptlings, in der jedes Weib ein Haus für sich allein bewohnt. Und dann steht der riesige Häuptlingspalast allein auf weitem Platz. Viele, viele einzelne, quadratische Häuser sind dicht an einander gebaut, die spitzen Dächer sattelartig verbunden, so einen zusammenhängenden, rechteckigen Gebäudekomplex bildend. Die Schmalseite mit vier großen Eingangstoren, zeigt als Dachstützen lauter geschnitzte Pfosten, ein paar riesige Trommeln sind in den dunklen Torgängen zu sehen.“ [Transcribed from German Fraktur] (p. 49) „Der riesige Bau ist wirklich vornehm und fürstlich schön. Im Inneren dehnen sich weite Höfe aus zwischen den hohen, dämmrigen Räumen und dunklen, stockfinsteren Gängen. Die Sonne scheint freundlich herein; ein offener Laubengang, dessen Dach durch geschnitzte Säulen getragen wird, läuft ringsum; Bäume beschatten in der Mitte graue, alte Grabsteine. Hier empfängt der Häuptling Besuch, hier spricht er Recht.“ [Transcribed from German Fraktur] (p. 52)

Illustrator: Marie Pauline Thorbecke, signed "MP. T."

Illustration technique: field engraving

Publication page: 53

Publication plate/figure: figure

Related images: This scene appears 3 times in 1912 & 1914: #s 597, 609, 660 Other views of the palace, search: Bamum palace

Keywords:
• Cameroon (Country, region, place)
• Fumban (Country, region, place)
• Grassfields (Country, region, place)
• carved wood (Materials and techniques)
• architecture (Notable features)
• court (Notable features)
• figurative (Notable features)
• Njoya (Notable features)
• paired (Notable features)
• palace (Notable features)
• reception hall (Notable features)
• column (Object name, type)
• Bamum (Style, culture group)
Re: Interesting Images From Precolonial And Early Colonial Africa by Ishilove: 7:13am On Apr 12, 2013
PhysicsQED:


But in the case of those pillars I originally posted, they do seem to be purely religious/spiritual. Comparable objects (physically, not necessarily culturally) that are also non-s3xual but also have a phallic shape would probably be totem poles in non-African cultures.
Don't mind pleep. He has a very dirty mind grin tongue
Re: Interesting Images From Precolonial And Early Colonial Africa by Ishilove: 7:33am On Apr 12, 2013
PhysicsQED:

Publication: 1917 (?). Angoulvant, G. Guide du commerce et de la colonisation à la Côte d'Ivoire.

Original language: French

Caption translation: Fetish house in Bas Cavally.

Caption: Case fétiche dans le Bas Cavally.

Text translation: "The religion of the peoples of the lagoons is fetishism. They still believe in the existence of spirits who serve as intermediaries between humans and the divinity." (p. 22)

Text: “La religion des peuplades des lagunes est le fétichisme. Elles croient encore à l’existence de génies qui servent d’intermédiaries entre les humains et la divinité.” (p. 22)




[The comment from the writer that I highlighted in bold above is ironic considering that Christianity requires basically the same thing (the 'Holy Spirit').]
What do you expect, when we were in the age of the Trevor-Ropers of this world? "Africa has no history. What is called African history is nothing more than the gyrations of babarous tribes in picturesque yet insignificant parts of the globe".

The historiographers of that era were racists, pure and simple. Literature like Doyle's 'King Solomon's Mines' depicted Africa as a dark continent of savages in need of salvation, so European historians often used that annoying condescending tone when writing about Africa.
Re: Interesting Images From Precolonial And Early Colonial Africa by UjSizzle(f): 10:27am On Apr 12, 2013
Exquisite!
Re: Interesting Images From Precolonial And Early Colonial Africa by PhysicsMHD(m): 10:40am On Apr 12, 2013
So I see that this made the front page. Although that's a good thing, I do wish I had been able to post at least half the pics that I wanted to before the thread was even considered for the front page. The spam bot kept blocking me and hiding my posts, but I'll try and post some of what I wanted to post under this alternate moniker now that more people are viewing the thread and hopefully the spam bot won't ban me and hide the post this time.
Re: Interesting Images From Precolonial And Early Colonial Africa by PhysicsMHD(m): 10:43am On Apr 12, 2013
Ishilove:
What do you expect, when we were in the age of the Trevor-Ropers of this world? "Africa has no history. What is called African history is nothing more than the gyrations of babarous tribes in picturesque yet insignificant parts of the globe".

The historiographers of that era were racists, pure and simple. Literature like Doyle's 'King Solomon's Mines' depicted Africa as a dark continent of savages in need of salvation, so European historians often used that annoying condescending tone when writing about Africa.

Yeah, there are a lot of condescending or offensive comments that I came across but there are also some purely objective comments and also some positive comments from writers from back then that I have come across on this same archive. I still intend to post the comments if they're not too offensive. For that picture it was at least necessary to establish what the house was for (religious), so I included the comment even though I didn't really approve of the tone.
Re: Interesting Images From Precolonial And Early Colonial Africa by PhysicsMHD(m): 10:46am On Apr 12, 2013


Publication: 1912. Vollbehr, Ernst. Mit Pinsel und Palette durch Kamerun: Tagebuchaufzeichnungen und Bilder.

Original language: German

Caption translation: The Bamum chief in his audience court. Inside a round hall, with richly carved bars, Njoja sits. He is smoking a pipe, and youths and all of his attendants surround him. The throne is of estimable, old beadwork.

Illustrator: Ernst Vollbehr, author

Illustration technique: field drawing; color

Keywords:
• Cameroon (Country, region, place)
• Fumban (Country, region, place)
• Grassfields (Country, region, place)
• carved wood (Materials and techniques)
• architecture (Notable features)
• court (Notable features)
• figurated (Notable features)
• frieze (Notable features)
• Njoya (Notable features)
• palace (Notable features)
• reception hall (Notable features)
• post (Object name, type)
• paired columns (Object name, type)
• Bamum (Style, culture group)
Re: Interesting Images From Precolonial And Early Colonial Africa by livethinme: 10:46am On Apr 12, 2013
The most annoying thing is. Tell me, what is Nigeria doing to preserve pre-colonial culture?
We talk and talk and talk and act patriotic and against west etc..
But WHERE can you find such relics in Nigeria?
(BTW Im sure that they exist, but where can you find them?..are there internet sites etc)
Are there are well known Nigerian archaeologists etc..?
Re: Interesting Images From Precolonial And Early Colonial Africa by PhysicsMHD(m): 10:48am On Apr 12, 2013


Publication: 1914. Thorbecke, Franz. Im Hochland von Mittel-Kamerun, Vol. I.

Original language: German

Caption translation: Attending court in the chief's palace in Fumban

Caption: Ehrenhof im Häuptlingspalast in Fumban

Text translation: “Inside the palace there are high, dim, almost empty rooms in which are at most a few beds, pots, drums and weapons, as well as narrow, pitch black hallways and broad, airy courts. The royal court of the chief, in which he receives guests or holds court [plate 9], reminds one of a European cloister entrance with its broad, circular, shadowy transition which is accompanied by ornamented, carved posts facing the court. On the narrow side of the hallway is a overhanging cupola and the posts are twice as high. The bright, sunny courtyard is in the middle and contains grey, pole-like gravestones of the ancestors under glowing green trees and low shrubbery.” (p. 17)

Illustrator: Marie Pauline Thorbecke, author's wife

Illustration technique: b/w field photograph

Publication plate/figure: plate 9

Keywords:
• Cameroon (Country, region, place)
• Fumban (Country, region, place)
• Grassfields (Country, region, place)
• carved wood (Materials and techniques)
• reception hall (Notable features)
• architecture (Notable features)
• court (Notable features)
• figurative (Notable features)
• Njoya (Notable features)
• paired (Notable features)
• palace (Notable features)
• column (Object name, type)
• Bamum (Style, culture group)
Re: Interesting Images From Precolonial And Early Colonial Africa by PhysicsMHD(m): 10:50am On Apr 12, 2013


Publication: 1912. Vollbehr, Ernst. Mit Pinsel und Palette durch Kamerun: Tagebuchaufzeichnungen und Bilder.

Original language: German

Caption translation: Njoja's palace in Bamum and the Basler Mission church. The palace is 81,60 m wide and 150 m long. It, and the church, are built from the leaf stalks of raffia palms and unfired clay. The Basler Mission church was built by 1000 natives. In the foreground lies an idol-drum.

Text translation: “As has already been told, a giant square is found in front of the palace. There beneath trees stands the Basel mission church, built in the native style from 1000 people in one day. A red and white flag blew on a large white pole in our honor. The market place, also under shady trees, is connected to the square and is alive with thousands of people twice a week. Half broken, old idols and giant carved drums lay around this place, signs of an earlier time.” (p. 90)

Publication page: f. 88

Keywords:
• Cameroon (Country, region, place)
• Fumban (Country, region, place)
• Grassfields (Country, region, place)
• carved wood (Materials and techniques)
• architecture (Notable features)
• torso (Notable features)
• anthropomorphized (Notable features)
• figurated handle (Notable features)
• Njoya's palace (Notable features)
• gong (Object name, type)
• slit drum (Object name, type)
• Bamum (Style, culture group)
Re: Interesting Images From Precolonial And Early Colonial Africa by PhysicsMHD(m): 10:54am On Apr 12, 2013


Publication: 1848. Allen, William and T.R.H. Thompson. A Narrative of the Expedition Sent by Her Majesty's Government to the River Niger, in 1841. Under the Command of Captain H. D. Trotter, R.N, Vol. I (of II).

Original language: English

Caption: The Court of the King of Iddah

Text: "The Attà was arrayed in an ample robe, fantastically brocaded with gold, beneath which was another of red velvet; and judging from his size, many others of various hue might have been his under-graments… A large brass or gilt plate, with a raised representation of the human face (not unlike 'the man in the moon'), suspended from his neck, and hanging down on the bosom, seemed to be an important article in the 'regalia.' It was worn by the former King when Lander and Allen visited him. His cap was conical, something like that of the Obi's, but ornamented with feathers; and in his ears were ivory discs, stuck in the lower lobe, large enough to cover the whole ear." (pp. 293-294)

Illustrator: Allen, William; Cook, J.W. Allen, William; Cook, J.W., signed: "painted by Capt. W. Allen, R.N." LL and "Engraved by J.W. Cook" LR

Illustration technique: field engraving

Keywords:
• Idah (Country, region, place)
• Nigeria (Country, region, place)
• architecture (Notable features)
• courtiers (Notable features)
• king (Notable features)
• moon-shaped (Notable features)
• umbrella (Notable features)
• jewelry (Object name, type)
• necklace (Object name, type)
• pendant mask (Object name, type)
• regalia (Object name, type)
• Igala (Style, culture group)
Re: Interesting Images From Precolonial And Early Colonial Africa by PhysicsMHD(m): 10:56am On Apr 12, 2013


Publication: 1840. Allen, William. Picturesque Views on the River Niger, Sketched during Lander's Last Visit in 1832-33.

Original language: English

Caption: Attàh

Illustrator: William Allen, author

Illustration technique: context engraving

Keywords:
• Idah (Country, region, place)
• Nigeria (Country, region, place)
• brass (Materials and techniques)
• courtiers (Notable features)
• Ata=king (Notable features)
• umbrella (Notable features)
• regalia (Object name, type)
• jewelry (Object name, type)
• necklace (Object name, type)
• pectoral mask (Object name, type)
• pendant mask (Object name, type)
• Igala (Style, culture group)
Re: Interesting Images From Precolonial And Early Colonial Africa by PhysicsMHD(m): 10:58am On Apr 12, 2013


House of Muslim Religious Leader, Fandah, Central Nigeria, 1832-33

Source:

William Allen, Picturesque views on the river Niger, sketched during Lander's last visit in 1832-33, by Commander William Allen (London, 1840), facing p. 15 (bottom). (Copy in Library of Congress, Rare Book/Special Collections)
Re: Interesting Images From Precolonial And Early Colonial Africa by PhysicsMHD(m): 11:01am On Apr 12, 2013


Publication: 1867. du Chaillu, Paul B. A Journey to Ashango-Land: And Further Penetration Into Equatorial Africa.

Original language: English

Caption: Ishogo Houses, with ornamented doors

Text: “June 11th. Igoumbié is the largest village I have met with yet, and forms one long and tolerably broad street. I counted 191 huts; each hut has a wooden door, and is divided into three compartments or chambers. The houses are generally placed close to each other, not wide apart like the houses of the Aponos. There are many of the curious alumbi houses scattered about. A large mbuiti or idol house stands about halfway down the street, with a monstrous wooden image inside, which the villagers hold in great reverence….What was most remarkable, there was here an attempt at decorative work on the doors of many of the houses. The huts, neatly built, with walls formed of the bark of trees, had their doors painted red, white, and black, in complicated and sometimes not inelegant patterns. These doors were very ingeniously made; they turned upon pivots above and below, which worked in the frame instead of hinges. Each house is of an oblong shape, about twenty-two feet long by ten or twelve feet broad; the door being in the middle of the front, three and a half feet high and two and a half feet broad. The walls are four and a half feet high and the highest part of the roof is about nine feet.” (pp. 264-265)

Illustration technique: field engraving

Keywords:
• Gabon (Country, region, place)
• Igoumbi (Country, region, place)
• carved wood (Materials and techniques)
• architecture (Notable features)
• shrine house (Notable features)
• bas-relief (Object name, type)
• door decoration (Object name, type)
• Tsogo (Style, culture group)
Re: Interesting Images From Precolonial And Early Colonial Africa by esere826: 11:04am On Apr 12, 2013
so what happens when PhysicsMHD is also banned?
Re: Interesting Images From Precolonial And Early Colonial Africa by PhysicsMHD(m): 11:05am On Apr 12, 2013
]

Publication: 1917. Wuhrmann, Anna. Vier Jahre im Grasland von Kamerun.

Original language: German

Caption translation:

Entrance to the chief's compound

Illustrator: Anna Wuhrmann

Illustration technique: b/w field photograph

Publication page: 35

Publication plate/figure: fig

Related images: This drum was photographed in front of a different doorway in the palace: see #s 69 & 1151.4/2. For another Bamum drum in a related style, see #599

Keywords:
• Cameroon (Country, region, place)
• Grassfields (Country, region, place)
• pigment (Materials and techniques)
• rawhide (Materials and techniques)
• carved wood (Materials and techniques)
• architecture (Notable features)
• layers (Notable features)
• standing figure (Notable features)
• high relief (Notable features)
• palace entrance (Notable features)
• column (Object name, type)
• pillar (Object name, type)
• figurated post (Object name, type)
• war drum (Object name, type)
• Bamum (Style, culture group)
Re: Interesting Images From Precolonial And Early Colonial Africa by PhysicsMHD(m): 11:06am On Apr 12, 2013
esere826: so what happens when PhysicsMHD is also banned?

lol, I had one or two other monikers. Hopefully I won't have to use any of them. grin
Re: Interesting Images From Precolonial And Early Colonial Africa by esere826: 11:09am On Apr 12, 2013
PhysicsMHD:

lol, I had one or two other monikers. Hopefully I won't have to use any of them. grin
^^ Seun,
Kindly take note and divide Nairaland population size by 4
Re: Interesting Images From Precolonial And Early Colonial Africa by PhysicsMHD(m): 11:09am On Apr 12, 2013


Publication: 1874. Skertchly, J.A. Dahomey as it is; Being A Narrative of Eight Month's Residence in that Country with a full account of the notorious annual customs, and the social and religious institutions of the Ffons. Also an appendix on Ashantee, and a Glossary of Dahoman Words and Titles.

Original language: English

Caption:

The Gun Custom

Text:

This was a splendid affair, at least as regards the roof, which was covered with a white cloth,along the centre of which a crimson plaid ran parallel to the eaves. Above and below this division were quaint figures of ships, with conspicuous poops and prows, rigged with a single mast, and two triangular sails like jibs set. Scarlet pennons were flying from the trucks, and beneath the keel two stockless anchors of blue baft were hung. Between each of these were curious affairs which Beecham called "pillars of salt." To me they appeared to be Christmas crackers resting on scarlet muskets. These ornaments were constructed of coloured cloth, and sewn on the white calico covering of the paviion. [p425]

The pillars of this shed were swathed in crimson velvet; and the back and sides were composed of gorgeous green, violet, blue, and crimson silks, satins, and damasks; the richness of their colouring being, however, lost in the shadow of the pavilion. In the centre was the royal sofa, covered with a splendid patchwork of velvet cloth of many colours; and a gorgeous umbrella, of yellow velvet, with dark crimson birds; with emerald-green necks, carrying blue guns in their black dexter claw, was set before the divan. [p425-6]

Illustrator: , illustrations are from sketches by the author

Illustration technique: colored lithograph

Keywords:
• Republic of Benin (Country, region, place)
• Dahomey (Country, region, place)
• damask (Materials and techniques)
• fabric (Materials and techniques)
• satin (Materials and techniques)
• silk (Materials and techniques)
• appliqué (Materials and techniques)
• birds (Notable features)
• divan (Notable features)
• guns (Notable features)
• pavilion (Notable features)
• tent (Notable features)
• architecture (Notable features)
• sailing ships (Notable features)
• umbrella (Notable features)
• tent decoration (Object name, type)
• roof ornament (Object name, type)
• Fon (Style, culture group)
Re: Interesting Images From Precolonial And Early Colonial Africa by PhysicsMHD(m): 11:10am On Apr 12, 2013
esere826:
^^ Seun,
Kindly take note and divide Nairaland population size by 4

lol grin

Most people on NL don't seem to have multiple monikers/usernames though, even despite the spam bot.
Re: Interesting Images From Precolonial And Early Colonial Africa by PhysicsMHD(m): 11:12am On Apr 12, 2013


Publication: 1874. Skertchly, J.A. Dahomey as it is; Being A Narrative of Eight Month's Residence in that Country with a full account of the notorious annual customs, and the social and religious institutions of the Ffons. Also an appendix on Ashantee, and a Glossary of Dahoman Words and Titles.

Original language: English

Caption: The So-Sin Pavilions

Illustrator: "E.W." after J.A. Skertchly "E.W." after J.A. Skertchly, E.W.= engraver JAS= author

Illustration technique: field engraving

Keywords:
• Dahomey (Country, region, place)
• fabric (Materials and techniques)
• carved wood (Materials and techniques)
• pavilions (Notable features)
• drums (Notable features)
• figurated textile (Object name, type)
• roof ornament (Object name, type)
• sculpture (Object name, type)
• elephant figure (Object name, type)
• Fon (Style, culture group)
Re: Interesting Images From Precolonial And Early Colonial Africa by PhysicsMHD(m): 11:15am On Apr 12, 2013


Publication: 1874. Skertchly, J.A. Dahomey as it is; Being A Narrative of Eight Month's Residence in that Country with a full account of the notorious annual customs, and the social and religious institutions of the Ffons. Also an appendix on Ashantee, and a Glossary of Dahoman Words and Titles.

Original language: English

Caption: Tombs of Agajah, Tegbwesun, Mpengula and Agongolu

Text: “On the left we discovered a long whitewashed barn, whose sides were ornamented with rude figures of men, animals, and inanimate objects in relief…A gorgeous cloth spread over the roof, and three umbrellas, marked the king’s seat, the captainesses and Dahkros being seated on either side. Immediately opposite the king was the mausoleum, containing the ashes of four kings—Agajah, Tegbwesun, Mpengula, Agongolu. The tomb was a long barn with a high-pitched roof. On the ridge were four silver ornaments belonging to the respective monarch. To the left was the monument of Agajah—a silver rooster standing on a globe, supported by an Asen which rose from the centre of a silver wheel, from the circumference of which four fetiche hearts of silver were suspended by chains. The wheel rested upon the top of an extinguisher surmounting a skull, all being wrought out of silver dollars. The next ornament was that of Tegbwesun—a silver acorn, supporting a wheel and skill, on the top of which was a silver tree with two straggling branches, each supporting a rooster. To the right of this was a peculiar double-globed cylinder, supporting a silver coronet, from the lower edge of which silver hearts were hung. Above this, surrounding the top of the cylinder, was a circlet of knobbed ogoh, and on the apex a man with his left arm akimbo brandished a sword in his right. This was Mpengula’s ornament. On the extreme right was the elaborate monument belonging to King Ogongolu. Two silver soldiers, armed with guns, supported on their heads a square framework hung with silver hearts. Above this two other soldiers bore a smaller framework, on the top of which two Dahoman warriors stood in warlike attitudes. Through the centre, a tall cylinder with globe-like ornaments helped the soldiers to support the frames. The whole of this elaborate affair was of silver, and about four feet high. The hearts swung about in the wind, and clinked together with a peculiar tinkle, and the polished silver glittered in the sun, showing that these valuables were only set up upon state occasions.” (pp. 399-400)

Illustrator: "E.W." after J.A. Skertchly "E.W." after J.A. Skertchly, E.W.= engraver JAS= author

Illustration technique: field engraving

Keywords:
• Dahomey (Country, region, place)
• silver (Materials and techniques)
• acorn (Notable features)
• rooster (Notable features)
• coronet (Notable features)
• hearts (Notable features)
• multi-layered (Notable features)
• skull (Notable features)
• wheel (Notable features)
• figurated (Notable features)
• globe (Notable features)
• rooster (Notable features)
• umbrellas (Notable features)
• asen (Object name, type)
• memorial sculpture (Object name, type)
• roof finial (Object name, type)
• grave ornament (Object name, type)
• Fon (Style, culture group)
Re: Interesting Images From Precolonial And Early Colonial Africa by PhysicsMHD(m): 11:17am On Apr 12, 2013


Publication: 1914. Rohrbach, Paul. Die deutschen Kolonien: Ein Bilderbuch aller deutschen Kolonien mit 168 photographischen Aufnahmen, Karten und Text. Herausgegeben mit Unterstützung der Deutschen Kolonialgesellschaft.

Original language: German

Caption translation: Chief in festive decorations. The horse, and frequently the rider, are protected against the strike of a lance with strong, padded covering.

Text translation: "Here there are important native rulers, Sultans, or as they say in the Fullah region, Lamidos. The natives have long been under the influence of the Arab culture that penetrated into the Lake Chad region, and are also to a large extent Muslims. There are important cities, like Garua, which one can reach by steamboat from the English Niger during high tide; Marrua, north of Benue; and the most distinguished of the Fullah sultanates: Rei Buba. In the part of Adamaua separated by the French are Lere and Binders, at the border of German-taxed Kusseri. (illustration page 5)" (p. 13)

Illustrator: J. Eberhard, photographer

Illustration technique: b/w field photograph

Keywords:
• Adamawa (Country, region, place)
• Cameroon (Country, region, place)
• Kousseri (Country, region, place)
• festival (Notable features)
• sultan (Notable features)
• equestrian (Notable features)
• feathered finial (Notable features)
• costume (Object name, type)
• headdress (Object name, type)
• helmet (Object name, type)
• regalia (Object name, type)
Re: Interesting Images From Precolonial And Early Colonial Africa by PhysicsMHD(m): 11:22am On Apr 12, 2013




Publication: 1913. Frobenius, Leo (transl. Rudolf Blind). The Voice of Africa, Being an Account of the Travels of the German Inner African Exploration Expedition in the Years 1910-1912, Vol. 1 of 2.

Original language: English

Caption: Images of Shango ritual. The god in the centre; Ojas to left and right - respectively 22, 28 3/4 and 20 3/4 inches high. (Drawn by Carl Arriens.)

Text: "Shango descends quite unexpectedly upon some man or woman dancer's head. The inspirationist rushes madly to the Banga, seizes an Osé-Shango, a beautifully carved club, or a Sheré-Shango, that is, the holy rattle. This individual begins to caper before the others. The afflatus is patent. All agree in this: a being possessed by Shango or any other Orisha dances quite differently from ordinary folk." (p. 214)

Illustrator: Carl Arriens

Illustration technique: studio engraving

Keywords:
• Nigeria (Country, region, place)
• wood (Materials and techniques)
• equestrian figure (Notable features)
• weapons (Notable features)
• catfish motif (Notable features)
• double-headed axe (Notable features)
• female (Notable features)
• janus heads (Notable features)
• maternity (Notable features)
• ceremonial axe (Object name, type)
• dance wands (Object name, type)
• Oja figure (Object name, type)
• ose shango (Object name, type)
• Yoruba (Style, culture group)
Re: Interesting Images From Precolonial And Early Colonial Africa by PhysicsMHD(m): 11:26am On Apr 12, 2013


Publication: 1913. Frobenius, Leo (transl. Rudolf Blind). The Voice of Africa, Being an Account of the Travels of the German Inner African Exploration Expedition in the Years 1910-1912, Vol. 1 of 2.

Original language: English

Caption: Objects found in the ruins of old Ojo. An Ifa tray [...] about 1/2 life size

Illustration technique: b/w studio photograph

Keywords:
• Nigeria (Country, region, place)
• Old Oyo (Country, region, place)
• face of Eshu (Notable features)
• asymmetrical (Notable features)
• divination tray (Object name, type)
• container (Object name, type)
• opon ifa (Object name, type)
• plate (Object name, type)
• Oyo (Style, culture group)
• Yoruba (Style, culture group)

Collections:
• Leo Frobenius. Discovered by him(1910-1912) in the ruins of Old Oyo (which was destroyed ca. 1850) & acquired from him in 1914 by the Museum für Völkerkunde, Hamburg, Germany.
(Collection at time of publication)
• Museum für Völkerkunde, Hamburg, Germany, inv. no. 14.135.5 (Current collection)
Re: Interesting Images From Precolonial And Early Colonial Africa by PhysicsMHD(m): 11:29am On Apr 12, 2013


Publication: 1913. Frobenius, Leo (transl. Rudolf Blind). The Voice of Africa, Being an Account of the Travels of the German Inner African Exploration Expedition in the Years 1910-1912, Vol. 1 of 2.

Original language: English

Caption: The God of Thunder's Temple in Ibadan (from a water colour drawing by Carl Arriens)

Text: "The exterior of the courtyard was characterized by some wooden pillars, embellished with carving, which supported the overhanging roof; the doorway, some nine feet in height, was boldly sculptured with figures in relief of a mythological character; but the fact that the door no longer hung upon its hinges, but was propped against the lintel, was significant of decay. On entering, a spacious courtyard met our view in which the intermediate roofs, supported on carved beams, jutted out over a veranda. Some women in pretty headdresses and some men in handsome flowing garments were standing here and there and gazed in amazement at the first Europeans - as I afterwards heard say to my own surprise - whose feet had trodden this holy place. We slipped underneath a curtain-cloth, and I am bound to say that for a moment's space the originality of the building in front of me, whose straggling black façade was broken up with many colors struck me dumb. A lofty, long and very deep recess made a gap in the row of fantastically carved and brightly painted columns. These were sculpted with horsemen, men climbing trees, monkeys, women, gods and all sorts of mythological carved work. The dark chamber behind revealed a gorgeous red ceiling, pedestals with stone axes on them, wooden figures, cowrie-shell hangings, and sad to say, also some empty spirit bottles, which already play a part in sacrifical rites. On one side of the dark wall a small niche, like a passage, had been cut, in which sat a wily-looking old fellow surrounded by a row of men and women squatting on skins and mats spread upon the floor and doing reverence to the aged man. This old chap was our future friend, the priest of the God of Thunder, Shango." (p. 46-47)

Illustrator: Carl Arriens, unsigned

Illustration technique: watercolor; offset print; color

Keywords:
• Ibadan (Country, region, place)
• Nigeria (Country, region, place)
• carved wood (Materials and techniques)
• polychrome (Materials and techniques)
• female (Notable features)
• male (Notable features)
• stacked figures (Notable features)
• house post (Object name, type)
• pillar (Object name, type)
• Shango shrine (Object name, type)
• Yoruba (Style, culture group)

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