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Brusseaux, Eugene
between 1900-1905
35 negatives (photographic) (black & white, 6 x 7 cm.)
354 photographic prints (silver gelatin (1 box), black & white, 7 x 8 cm. or smaller.)
Collection ID:
Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives, National Museum of African Art

The album was compiled by Eugene Brusseaux, a French colonial, very likely a merchant, who lived, worked and traveled in the Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic (then Afrique Equatoriale Francaise), and in northern Cameroon (then German colony of Kamerun). The images may well have been taken by Brusseaux himself. Mr. de Strycker acquired the album, which previously belonged to Professor Verneau of the Musee de L'Homme, Paris, in a sale from Professor Verneau of the Musee de l'Homme, Paris. The album shows the classic arrangement of many similar colonial albums, depicting Brusseaux's voyage from France to Libreville in Gabon, and Matadi on the mouth of the Congo River. From there Brusseaux took the railroad to Leopoldville (Kinshasa) and traveled on the Brazzaville. He continued on the Congo River to Balobo and Kounda, then over land towards the Sangha River, through Bonga and Loboko to M'Bako on the Sangha River and to Ouesso, now on the border of the Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic. From Ouesso, he continued on to Nola, Carnot and Baboua. He then visited Kounde, and crossed into German territory, moving on the Ngaoundere. This is where the album ends. The photographs depict some of the Belgian and French colonial cities. There are excellent images of transportation in Matadi. Brazzaville is the topic of many good architectural photographs. A very interesting set shows the Catholic Mission of Brazzaville in 1901 and 1904 with a unique interior shot of the cathedral. Further inland, the photographs of colonial settlements focus on trading posts, such as Bonga, Kadei, Carnot and Baboma. Many photographs show Africans, indigenous architecture, and celebrations. They focus on the Pomo, the Pande, the Baya (Baja in German writing), and Hausa and Fulbe. Images from Baboma, Kounde and Ngaoundere show indigenous Fulbe architecture, including a series of the Lamido's palace at Ngaoundere, and Fulbe kings, retainers and women. One set depicts women with Fulbe style coiffures of extraordinary complexity (wigs).

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