Photographs taken by Anni Siranne-Coplan in 1975 and 1976 of daily life in Benin, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo. Images depict architecture, open air markets and street scenes in cities, coastal towns and rural villages.
The collection contains 527 color 35mm slides taken by Ivan Livingstone in West Africa (primarily the Republic of Benin but also in Ghana, Nigeria and Togo) circa 1972-1973. Images depict market scenes, Egúngún and Ifa ceremonies, religious ceremonies of the Celestial Church of Christ, funeral processions, decoration and ornament, clothing and dress, and musicians. There are also several images of the palace of the Oni of Ife. Culture groups represented in the collection include the Yoruba, Ifè, Oyo, Somba, Fon,Dan and Fula peoples.
Photographs of West Africa, mostly from Lagos and coastal Nigeria, 1877-1895. There are high quality pictures of trading houses and residences in Lagos, often with the name of the owners given in the caption. One of the buildings depicted is the cathedral. Several exceptional images portray chiefs, such as the King of Opobo, and the wives of the King of Opobo, the Balogun of Epe, the Alake of Abeokuta, and the chief of New Calabar. Of greatest interest is a photograph entitled "Benin Gods" which shows figures from the Kingdom of Brass, taken in circa 1877/1878. There are also views of Cape Coast, Elmina, Accra, Wydah, Fernando Poo, Porto Novo, Grand Popo, and one from Liberia. The themes range from architecture to dances and weddings. Of particular interest are two depictions of fancy dress.
The photographs document William Fagg's extensive survey work in Nigeria and his trips to Benin, Congo, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Zaire. The photographs illustrate African cultures and works of art, especially those of the Yoruba in Nigeria. Nigerian artisans portrayed include a blacksmith in the town of Jebba, a craftsman casting brass at Ijebu-Ode, and a potter at work in Nok. Celebrations and ceremonies documented include the igue oba and itue ceremonies and the festival of leaves in Benin. There are also images of dances of the Bargesh in northern Nigeria and a masked dance at Nok. Architecture documented includes altars and shrines in Benin and in Oyo, Nigeria; a Birom settlement; Brazilian-style houses in Porto Novo, Republic of Benin; an emir's house in Nigeria; a Jarawa village in Nigeria; the mosque in Keffi, Nigeria; and palaces of Yoruba kings. Most of the photographs show sculpture including Benin bronze plaques and hip masks; Esie stone sculpture; Ifa divination boards, drums, and figures; a Kuba ndop (royal statue) in the Kinshasa Museum; Nok terra-cotta and wooden figures; and Tada bronze figures. There also are images of epa (masquerade) masks; gelede (men's society) masks; a head of Olokun (a male Yoruba divinity) from Ibadan, Nigeria; and Yoruba edan ogboni (bronze staffs) and ibeji (twin figures) from Nigeria. Images of objects by identifiable artists include a palace pillar, post and sculpture by Agbonbiofe; a door and epa mask by Areogun; and a house post and lidded bowl by Olowe of Ise.
This collection includes postcards from 45 African countries. Subjects include agriculture; animals; artists; body arts; cityscapes; cultural landscapes; dance; education; expeditions; flora; industry; leaders; marketplaces; medicine; military; missionaries; music; portraits; recreation; rites and ceremonies; and transportation, among many other topics.
Both Henry John Drewal and Margaret Drewal traveled to Nigeria, Ghana and Togo (West Africa) for extended periods from 1967-1986. During their trips to Nigeria they conducted research into the ritual performance, masking traditions, and traditional sacred rites of the Yoruba people as well as Mami Wata devotes of Togo, Ghana, and Nigeria. They are the co-authors of Gelede: Art and Female Power among the Yoruba (1993).Both Henry John Drewal and Margaret Drewal traveled to Nigeria, Ghana and Togo (West Africa) for extended periods from 1967-1986. During their trips to Nigeria they conducted research into the ritual performance, masking traditions, and traditional sacred rites of the Yoruba people as well as Mami Wata devotes of Togo, Ghana, and Nigeria. They are the co-authors of Gelede: Art and Female Power among the Yoruba (1993). Photographs taken by Henry John and Margaret Thompson Drewal during the 1970s and 1980s of Yoruba and Ewe art and culture.