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Kuba titleholders at the royal court, Mushenge, Congo (Democratic Republic). [slide]

Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives
Title is provided by EEPA staff based on photographer's notes.

The photograph depicts high-ranking Kuba notable wearing traditional costume, symbolic adornements, at the court of Nyim Kot a-Mbweeky III. [Cornet J., 1982: Art Royal Kuba, Edizioni Sipiel Milano]. "The most visible insignia of titleholding associated with hats and headdresses is the specific bird feather (lashal) worn by each titleholder. Each title is associated with a particular bird whose characteristics the titleholder is thought to share. It is the accumulative nature of Kuba costuming, encompassing not only feathers but beads, shell, brass, and copper which is characteristic of Kuba royal display at the highest level." [Darish P., Binkley D., 1995: Headdresses and Titleholding Among the Kuba, Crowning Achievements, UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History]. This photograph was taken when Eliot Elisofon was on assignment for Westinghouse Film and traveled to Africa from October 26, 1970 to end of March 1971.

Kuba Nyim (ruler) Kot a Mbweeky III, Bungamba village, Congo (Democratic Republic), [slide]

Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives
Title is provided by EEPA staff based on photographer's notes.

The photograph depicts Nyim Kot a Mbweeky III wearing royal dress 'labot latwool'; royal headdress known as 'Shody'; necklace 'Lashyaash' made of leopard teeth; sword 'Mbombaam', lance 'Mbwoom Ambady' and other items of royal adornement. [Cornet J., 1982: Art Royal Kuba, Edizioni Sipiel Milano]. During his trip to Congo (now Democratic Republic of Congo), Elisofon visited the village of Bungamba (Bongamba, Bongaam) between Mweka and Luebo, in the Kuba region. This photograph was taken when Eliot Elisofon traveled to Africa from March 17, 1970 to July 17, 1970.

The full name of the Kuba Nyim depicted on the photograph is Kw"t áMbw"'ky René (III): aka Køt áMbw"'ky. Most full names consist of three successive personal names: the king's own name, the name of his mother and the name of his mother's mother connected by particles meaning "of." Only this ruler has a Christian name. The aka names are often used. The names are taken from Vansina Jan, Geschiedenis van de Kuba, Tervuren 1963 (genealogy 270,- 71; kings # 17 and following p.319-28).

Igbo mask dancers performing during the Onwa Asaa festival, Ugwuoba village, Nigeria. [slide]

Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives
Title is provided by EEPA staff based on photographer's notes.

Original caption reads, "Masquerade dancers in Ibo village of Ugwuoba, between Awka and Enugu. Masked and costumed men are chosen by their villages to wear costumes and to masquerade during the annual yam festival, called 'Onwasato' in Ibo. The very colorful costumes of reds, whites and greens in stripes are called Iyolo, which means 'fine thing.' The raffia costumes are called Udo, which means 'rope.' The masked men represent various ju-jus, some good, some bad. The dancers are milling up and down the main road through the village, charging back and forth senselessly, dashing through the market area, shouting and jumping, some blowing horns hidden inside their masks. This was the first day of a four-day celebration, and was the first 'showing' of the masquerade costumes." [Master Catalogue: Literary Africa. Eliot Elisofon. 1959. K97, 1-36; K98, 1-20].

"The appearance of the moon governs the communal activities such as the commencement of farm work, festivities and ritual offerings. For example, the seventh moon (Onwa asaa) appears in August and marks the month of the thanksgiving service to the ancestors. The community in turn obtains permission to eat new yams without fear of reprisals from their ancestors. The eighth month is Onwa asato, which appears during the month of September or October. Onwa asaa refers to the month when the ritual feast of new yam is celebrated. The seventh month thus becomes the official title by which the activity is known. During this festival, the appearance of masks and the masquerading features merely mark the celebration of the feast." [Anigbo O., 1987: Commensality and Human Relationship Among the Igbo. University of Nigeria Press]. This photograph was taken when Eliot Elisofon was on assignment for Life magazine and traveled to Africa from August 18, 1959 to December 20, 1959.

Initiation rituals among Ndaka people, near Epulu, Ituri Forest, Congo (Democratic Republic), [slide]

Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives
Title is provided by EEPA staff based on photographer's notes.

"In order to become full adult members of the tribe, all young Ndaka men had to be initiated. The Nkumbi (initiation) was taking place only about every six years. At a sign given with his sacred broom by the Ishumi (ritualist, master of ceremonies), a general dance soon started to the music of drums, trumpets, rattles, olifants, and, especially, the makata sticks that were played only during initiations. Traditional songs and dances were performed, during some of which the masked ritualists acted out prescribed roles dressed in full costume." [Felix M., 1992: Ituri, Verlag Fred Jahn]. This photograph was taken when Eliot Elisofon was on assignment for National Geographic and traveled to Africa from January 19, 1972 to mid April 1972.

Initiation rituals among Yaka people, near Kasongo Lunda, Congo (Democratic Republic). [slide]

Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives
Title is provided by EEPA staff based on photographer's notes.

"Yaka masks make their appearance only during the lengthy initiation ceremonies that are performed for boys. The initiation (n'khanda) prepares them for social adulthood and is designed to safeguard the continuity of human fertility. The young men return to the village at the end of the initiation period and perform masked dances. They are accompanied by the men who have supervised them during that period, who are also wearing masks. It is thought that the smaller masks worn by the new initiates are made by the young men themselves, whereas the masks worn by the leaders are made by professional sculptors. Yaka masks are notable for their polychromy. They recapitulate all the constituent features that make up the universe, i.e. heavenly bodies, plants, animals, humans and spirits." [Grootaers J.-L., Eisenburger I., 2002 : Forms of Wonderment. Vol. 2. Africa Museum, Berg en Dal]. During his trip to the Belgian Congo (now Democratic Republic of Congo), Elisofon visited the Yaka people inhabiting Popokabaka, Kenge, and Kasongo Lunda sectors of Bandundu Province of southwestern Congo and Uige Province of northern Angola. This photograph was taken when Eliot Elisofon traveled to Africa from early March 1951 to July 1951.

Woman and child, near Epulu, Ituri Forest, Congo (Democratic Republic), [slide]

Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives
Title is provided by EEPA staff based on photographer's notes.

During his trip to Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo), Elisofon visited the Ndaka people living near Epulu. This photograph was taken when Eliot Elisofon was on assignment for National Geographic Film and traveled to Africa from January 19, 1972 to mid April 1972.

Music orchestra performing during women dance, near Gungu, Congo (Democratic Republic), [slide]

Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives
Title is provided by EEPA staff based on photographer's notes.

This photograph was taken by Eliot Elisofon when he was on assignment for Westinghouse Film and traveled to Africa from October 26, 1970 to end of March 1971.

Dolo, a blacksmith and woodcarver, making a Kanaga mask, Ogol du Haut village, Mali, [slide]

Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives
Title is provided by EEPA staff based on photographer's notes.

The photograph depicts Dolo, the blacksmith and wood carver of Ogol du Haut village, using a traditional adze to make a Kanaga mask. "Dogon masks are carved from the wood of male trees, a practice consistent with the association of the Awa society, masks, and Dama performances, with men. Wood from the togolo tree (Bumbax buonopozente) is most often used for the masks, and it is characterized by a red sap that oozes from its cut surfaces. When the carving is complete, the masks are prevented from drying by applications of sesame oil, and are painted with pigments from natural sources." [Harris M., 1989: Visual Tropes: The Kanaga Mask of the Dogon People of West Africa, Yale University]. During his trip to Mali, Elisofon visited the Dogon people in Sanga (Sangha), a group of thirteen villages lying east of Bandiagara at the top of an escarpment. The most important villages are Ogol-du-Haut and Ogol-du-Bas. This photograph was taken when Eliot Elisofon traveled to Africa from March 17, 1970 to July 17, 1970.

Konan Yao, a Baule sculptor at work, Yagolikro village, Ivory Coast, [slide]

Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives
Title is provided by EEPA staff based on photographer's notes.

"Baule fly-whisks are carved in a light wood covered in a thin sheet of hammered gold. According to Baule goldsmiths, the technique of gold-leafing was introduced from the Akan region of Ghana." [Timothy F. Garrard, 1989: Gold of Africa, Prestel]. This photograph was taken when Eliot Elisofon was on assignment for National Geographic and traveled to Africa from January 19, 1972 to mid April 1972.

Taxidermy shop, near Nairobi, Kenya. [slide]

Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives
Title is provided by EEPA staff based on photographer's notes.

This photograph was taken when Eliot Elisofon was on assignment for Life magazine and traveled to Africa from August 18, 1959 to December 20, 1959.

Asante men playing Wari, Besease, Ghana, [slide]

Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives
Title is provided by EEPA staff based on photographer's notes.

"Wari is the best-known African variation of mancala; apart from West Africa, where it is thought to have originated, it is popular in the Caribbean and South America and reached North America and Europe through various commercial introductions. Wari boards in West Africa have attracted attention for their sculptured shapes. They often include a stand or a base which may be decorated with incisions or which may be sculptured in motifs such as animals, people, a stool, or a boat." [Voogt, A., 2004: Wari; An African Folklore: an Encyclopedia. Routledge]. This photograph was taken when Eliot Elisofon traveled to Africa from March 17, 1970 to July 17, 1970.

Domestic scenes outside a Dogon settlement, Sanga region, Mali, [slide]

Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives
Title is provided by EEPA staff based on photographer's notes.

The photograph depicts Dogon women and children bathing. During his trip to Mali, Elisofon visited the Dogon people in Sanga (Sangha), a group of thirteen villages lying east of Bandiagara at the top of an escarpment. This photograph was taken when Eliot Elisofon was on assignment for Life magazine and traveled to Africa from August 18, 1959 to December 20, 1959.

Mangbetu woman pounds manioc leaves to cook in palm oil, Medje village, Congo (Democratic Republic). [slide]

Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives
Title is provided by EEPA staff based on photographer's notes.

During his trip to Congo (now Democratic Republic of Congo), Elisofon visited the Mangbetu people living in Medje village, southwest of Isiro. This photograph was taken when Eliot Elisofon was on assignment for National Geographic and traveled to Africa from March 17, 1970 to July 17, 1970.

Market at Zaranda village, east of Jos, Nigeria, [slide]

Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives
Title is provided by EEPA staff based on photographer's notes.

This photograph was taken when Eliot Elisofon was on assignment for Life magazine and traveled to Africa from August 18, 1959 to December 20, 1959.

Woman carrying cloths on her head, Kumasi, Ghana, [slide]

Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives
Title is provided by EEPA staff based on photographer's notes.

This photograph was taken when Eliot Elisofon was on assignment for Life magazine and traveled to Africa from August 18, 1959 to December 20, 1959.

Woman holding two firearms on her side, Kisangani, Congo (Democratic Republic). [slide]

Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives
Title is provided by EEPA staff based on photographer's notes.

This photograph was taken when Eliot Elisofon was on assignment for American Broadcasting Company and traveled to Africa from early December 1966 to early February 1967.

Fishing boats on the beach in Jamestown, oldest section of the city, Accra, Ghana, [slide]

Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives
Title is provided by EEPA staff based on photographer's notes.

"Today, marine fishing using beach seine nets, the ali net, and the more recent purse seine nets used by trawlers is a key aspect of coastal life, with the months between June and September being particularly productive for fishermen." [DeCorse Ch., 2001: An Archaeology of Elmina. Smithsonian Institution Press]. This photograph was taken when Eliot Elisofon was on assignment for Life magazine and traveled to Africa from August 18, 1959 to December 20, 1959.

Conical fish-traps suspended from wood construction in the cataracts, near Kisangani, Congo (Democratic Republic), [slide]

Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives
Title is provided by EEPA staff based on photographer's notes.

"The Wagenia derive their fame as fisherman from the way in which they have turned the opportunities offered them by their natural environment to account. At the point where they live, the river narrows considerably and drops in a series of rapids and cataracts over a several metres high, hard rocky ledge which appears above the surface here. A special attraction for tourists is the way the Wagenia manoeuvre their canoes through the rapids and the acrobatic feats they perform when emptying the conical, 2 to 5-metre long fish-traps suspended in the rapids from structures of thick beams." [Droogers A., 1980: The Dangerous Journey, Symbolic Aspects of Boys' Initiation among the Wagenia of Kisangani, Zaire. Mouton Publishers, The Hague]. This photograph was taken when Eliot Elisofon traveled to Africa from March 17, 1970 to July 17, 1970.

Masked dancer during a Gelede performance, Meko, Nigeria, [negative]

Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives
Title source: Index card based on photographer's notes.

"A typical Gelede performance has two phases, a night concert and an afternoon dance session. In the afternoon sessions, colorfully attired performers entertain the public with intricate dances. The headdresses are usually danced in pairs, jingling their metal anklets (aro) to rhyme with the drum beats. Although it performs in a variety of social and religious contexts, the ultimate goal of the Gelede performance is to promote peace and happiness on earth." [Lawal B., 2004: The World is Fragile... Life Should Not Be Lived with Force: a Yoruba Headdress (Igi Gelede Onijakadi), See the Music, Hear the Dance, Prestel]. This photograph was taken when Eliot Elisofon traveled to Africa from March 17, 1970 to July 17, 1970.

Women firing clay pots. Sanga region, Mali, [negative]

Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives
Title source: Index card based on photographer's notes.

During his trip to Mali, Elisofon visited the Dogon people in Sanga (Sangha), a group of thirteen villages lying east of Bandiagara at the top of an escarpment. This photograph was taken when Eliot Elisofon was on assignement for National Geographic Film and traveled to Africa from January 19, 1972 to mid April 1972.

Joseph Mokobi playing soccer, Bunia, Congo (Democratic Republic), [negative]

Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives
Title source: Index card based on photographer's notes.

The photograph depicts Joseph, age 8, playing soccer at the Catholic Mission school. During his trip to Congo (now Democratic Republic of Congo), Elisofon visited Bunia and its surroundings, near Lake Albert. This photograph was taken when Eliot Elisofon traveled to Africa from March 17, 1970 to July 17, 1970.

Felucca on the Nile. Nile Delta region, Egypt, [negative]

Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives
Title source: Index card based on photographer's notes.

The photograph depicts felucca and two men bathe water buffalos at Rosetta (Rashîd, now) which is located at the head of the Rosetta branch (Rashid, Far`, now) of the Nile, in the Nile Delta region. This photograph was taken when Eliot Elisofon was working on "The Nile" project and traveled to Africa from March 14, 1961 to March 31, 1961, visiting Egypt.

Mushenge Art School, Mushenge, Congo (Democratic Republic), [negative]

Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives
Title source: Index card based on photographer's notes.

The photograph depicts Father Cyprien L. Herbers in front of art school, which was founded in 1950 by Father D'Haenens. This photograph was taken when Eliot Elisofon traveled to Africa from March 17, 1970 to July 17, 1970.

A view of the city, Lubumbashi, Congo (Democratic Republic), [negative]

Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives
Title source: Index card based on photographer's notes.

"A company town dominated by the mining industry, Lubumbashi is an administrative urban sub-region, lying on the Shaba high plateau." [F. Scott Bobb, 1999: Historical Dictionary of Democratic Republic of Congo, The Scarecrow Press]. This photograph was taken when Eliot Elisofon traveled to Africa from March 17, 1970 to July 17, 1970.
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