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The evolving image of the European in African art from antiquity until the 19th century: from Roman captives in Kush, to Portuguese traders in Benin, to Belgian colonialists in Congo.
How Africans saw the "European other".
While studies of "otherness" have been recently popularized across various fields, they often focus on the images of foreign individuals or groups made by artists living in the western world (such as the depictions of people of African descent made by artists of European descent living in places where the latter were socially dominant), rarely has the focus of the studies of otherness been reversed to include how foreign individuals or groups such as Europeans were depicted by African artists living within African societies where they were the socially dominant group.
African portrayals of the "European other" in art, were influenced by the nature and frequency of contact between African societies and people of European descent, as well as the robustness of the given society's art tradition. Since extensive interaction between Africans and Europeans was uncommon before the 19th century, depictions of Europeans in African art appear infrequently, except in three African states, the Kingdoms of; Kush, Benin and Loango. These three African societies’ contrasting depictions of Europeans provides a cross-section sketch of the interactions between Africans and Europeans from antiquity to the eve of colonialism.
This article explores the evolving image of the European through African eyes, ranging from the vanquished roman captive in Kush, to the Portuguese merchant-mercenary in Benin, to the Belgian trader-colonist in Loango.
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The vanquished captive: image of the Roman in Kush’s art.
Map of Kush at its height in the 7th century, the border between Rome and Kush in the 1st century was set near Aswan.
The kingdom of Kush was established in mid-3rd millennium BC by Meroitic speakers, it flourished from capitals at Kerma (2500BC-1500BC), Napata (800-300BC) and Meroe (300BC-360AD) as a regional power controlling much of what is now north-central Sudan and was briefly the world’s second largest empire in the 7th century BC, extending its political orbit over parts of Palestine and Syria. It first came to the attention of Greek writers in the 8th century BC as the land of Aethiopia (not to be confused with modern Ethiopia), with more detailed descriptions by Herodotus in the 5th century BC and the Ptolemaic era in the 3th century when direct contacts were initiated, and faint depictions of mythical European figures were made by Kush’s artists, but it wasn’t until the Roman era in the late 1st century BC that depictions of Europeans were included in Kush’s art canon.
Kush’s temples, palaces and pyramid-burials were often richly decorated with painted scenes depicting royals, deities, tribute bearers, captives, as well as fauna and flora of the kingdom, all shown in vivid colors and with reliefs occasionally covered in gold leaf1 among these painted and relief scenes were images of the vanquished enemy; a common motif in Kushite art as a symbol of the King’s military prowess. While the majority of the representations of captives were often "neutral" representing Kush’s foes as a mostly undifferentiated mass, as artists used a motif that had been adopted unchanged over the centuries2 some of the captives were differentiated by several external attributes such as, hair types, headgear, clothing, skin color, and other accessories, which were additions by artists to represent new foes of Kush whose depiction couldn’t rely on old prototypes. The depictions of the "Northern/Helmet wearing Types" are the most unique among the new groups of captives, they are often shown wearing helmets, attimes with chinstraps and feathers attached to the top, they wear “special clothing” like sandals and long robes (rather than the characteristic knee-length loincloth), are shown being killed in various ways with daggers and arrows, and are attimes shown with "northern features”, all of which were additions used to depict Kush’s new northern neighbor; the Romans, beginning in the 1st century BC3
captives with helmets on bronze bells found in the royal pyramid burials; N.12 and N.184(belonging to King Aryesebokhe and Queen Amanikhatashan who ruled in the late 1st/early 2nd century AD). see the detail chin-strap helmet in the fist panel (helmet c, and the second captive in the illustration)
The most detailed depiction of roman captives in Kush came from the murals in chapel building M. 292 at Meroe (the so-called “Augustus temple”), water color images of these murals were made by the archeologist Garstang in 1910 and were sent to the Boston museum in 1948, and they remain some of the few meroitic temple murals that have been studied to date, providing us with an approximate idea of the original colors, dressing and overall painting, as well as highlighting the variations in ethnic differences of the bound prisoners based on the clothing, accessories, and skin tone.
water color illustrations of captive paintings in building 292 at Meroe, the lower photo is for fig.1, the paintings were washed away in a violent storm after they had been studied5
The first panel shows five bounded captives kneeling below the foot of the Queen (most likely Queen Amanitore6) ; the first of these figures is light-skinned and wears a blue, thigh-length stripped robe, on his head is a yellow Roman helmet with a chin strap (similar to one found on Queen Amanishakheto's stela, and to the helmeted prizoners on bronze bells found in pyramid N.16 and N.18 in Meroe, and on a relief in Queen Amanirenas’ temple 250 in Meroe) and scholars thus identify him as a Roman captive. Behind him are three prisoners of different origin than him, with various darker-skin shades, all wearing knee-length kilts and some with headcaps and ear-rings. The second panel shows three bounded captives, tied together with a rope and kneeling infront of the sandaled foot of a deity (or the queen), the first two prisoners from the left are light-skinned, the first of these wears a helmet with a chin-strap, the second figure wears a stripped robe similar to the one in the first panel and is shod in black, ankle-high pointed slippers (an unusual feature among Kush's captives).7
These representations of roman captives were made after the war between Kush and Rome that occurred from 25BC-20BC in which southern Egyptian rebels allied with Kush attacked roman garrisons in Egypt and destroyed several roman monuments including decapitating a bronze statue of the emperor Augustus, prompting a counter-attack from Rome that extended into Kush's northern territories (likely at Napata) but was beaten back by the Queen Amanirenas who chased them back into Egypt where both parties signed a peace treaty that was heavily favorable to Kush including the withdraw of Rome's southern border away from Kush and a refusal by Amanirenas to return the Augustus head8It was her successor (most likely Queen Amanitore in the mid 1st century AD) who buried the “Augustus head” in a staircase of her chapel (building M. 292), the same chapel that was decorated with the murals depicting vanquished roman captives,9the artists likely borrowing figure of the roman captive motif from an earlier temple M. 250 whose captive scenes were added during Queen Amanirenas and later Queen Amanishakheto’s reign during the late 1st century BC10Queen Amanishakheto also commissioned a stela inscribed in Meroitic about the war between Kush and Rome and included a description of an raid on Kush's northern city of Napata by the "Tǝmeya", a Meroitic ethnonym meaning "whites/Europeans". The word “tǝmeya” is attested across Kush's northern territories as a descriptive term used by the Meroites of Kush for greco-roman settlers in southern Egypt in the 2nd-3rd century and was later used to describe the roman authorities in Egypt in the 4th century.11
detail of queen Amanishakheto’s stela (REM 1293) showing a roman captive wearing a rimmed helmet with a wide chin-strap, dressed in a short-sleeved tunic, his “european features” are easily discernible from the captive behind him who represents Kush’s neighboring foes, his body is with the inscription tǝmeya.12
The appearance of these Tǝmeya/European captives across a wide period of Kush's history from the 1st century BC to the 2nd century AD, and the symbolic positioning of the Augustus head in the staircase of a minor chapel in Meroe, all of which commemorate Kush's defeat of Rome; and the conflict’s conclusion with a peace treaty favorable to Kush, perfectly captures the initial encounter between Africa and Europe, one that demonstrated the military might of an independent African state where interactions between Africans and Europeans were dictated on African terms. It also influenced the favorable description of Kush by roman writers such as Strabo and Pliny, who drew from contemporary accounts describing capital Meroe that "so long as the Aethiopians were powerful this island was very famous. for by report they were accustomed to furnish of armed men 250,000 and to maintain of artisans 400,000. also it is at this day reported that there have been forty-five kings of the Aethiopians"13This account, which doubtlessly exaggerates Kush's demographics and king list was a reflection of Roman perceptions of Kush's power and antiquity, as well as the incorporation of the classical Greek accounts about the utopian land of Kush and its “long-lived”, “wise” and “handsome Aethiopians” as described by Herodotus.14
The merchant-mercenary of the Atlantic world: image of the Portuguese in Benin art.
Benin was a west-African kingdom established around the 13th century by edo-speakers in south-western Nigeria, growing over the 15th and 16th centuries into the biggest regional power along the west-African coast. The Portuguese arrived on Benin’s coast in 1472 but only formalized contacts in 1486 with Benin diplomats travelling to Lisbon and Portuguese diplomats travelling to the Benin capital, establishing a “factory” at Ughoton that traded in Benin’s pepper, ivory and slaves. On one occasion, the Portuguese mercenaries assisted the Oba (King) Esigie (r. 1504–1550) in a pivotal battle, and unsuccessfully tried to convert Benin’s court religion to Catholicism. The relationship between the two ended shortly after, with trade quickly fizzling out by the 1510s as the Portuguese turned to Indian pepper and Benin banned the export of slaves, Benin’s European trade was thereafter turned over to the Dutch and English who bough its pepper, ivory and textiles.15
Foreigners were rarely portrayed in Benin’s voluminous corpus of sculptural art with the few depictions of foreigners being Portuguese merchants and musketeers , as well as images of powerful foreign captives. Portuguese figures appear on Benin's bronze plaques, brass sculptures and ivory armlets as part of the Oba Esigie's symbols of his commercial and military power. The stylized motif of the bearded, long-haired Portuguese man, wearing 16th century Iberian fashion, holding cross-bows, guns or other weapons, and carrying manilla currency, was repeated in later centuries by 18th and 19th century artists of Benin long after the actual contacts with the Portuguese had ended.16
The smooth, rounded bodies of the Benin figures, their in static postures, wearing symbols of rank, with a distinctive emphasis on the head and wide eyes, nose and full lips which in edo tradition potrayed the idealized human body of the" “self” in the prime of life,17(and was similarly used for Benin's depictions of foreign war captives, as well as by the artists of neighboring kingdoms such as Ife18), stood in stark contrast to the the gaunt, aged faces of the Portuguese whose figures were often depicted in natural proportion without the symbolic emphasis of the head, according to the art historian Susanne Blier "These contrasting aesthetic norms are particularly revealing as they convey through acute visual means how court artists sought to identify local Benin individuals as in the prime of life, while indicating that the Portuguese were in many respects sickly or moribund".19The contrasts between the Benin and Portuguese figures were consciously repeated by Benin's artists until the 19th century, with a deliberate avoidance from showing the Portuguese as part of the Oba's dignitaries or courtiers, excluding them from scenes of royal festivals, but only depicting them either alone (with Portuguese attendants rather than Edo attendants), or as ornamental decorations within a larger scene focused on the Edo dignitaries. The most notable portrayals of the Portuguese include the Iyoba mask where they are shown in the Queen Idia’s hair,20 as faces or figures adorning various vessels and such as salt-cellars and kola-nut boxes21 or in a number of the 16th century bronze plaques where they are depicted either alone as mercenaries or merchants, or as miniature figures/heads/faces that accessorize the scene focused on the larger Benin figures in the corners, or with their faces shown as waist pendants of the Oba.22
images of the Portuguese as ornamental miniature figures in Benin art:
left to right: (Af1910,0513.1, british museum) 16th century iyoba mask with miniature portuguese figures in the queen mother's hair, (Af1898,0115.27, Af1898,0115.21 and Af1898,0115.16 at the british museum) are 16th century plaques with miniature portuguese figures in the corners.
images of the Portuguese as mercenaries
left to right: (Af1898,0115.1, british museum) 16th century Plaque with a Portuguese mercenary holding a partisan weapon, flanked by a Portuguese attendant holding a matchlock, and a miniature figure of a portuguese wearing a helmet is depicted in the top left corner (Af1898,0115.5, british museum) 16th century plaque with a Portuguese mercenary with a partisan weapon and a crossguard sword (Af1928,0112.1 and Af1949,46.158 at the british museum) are 17th century brass figures of portuguese musketeers.
images of the Portuguese as merchants
left to right: (1991.17.13 at the met museum, 13597 at the Museum of Ethnology Dresden,1991.17.18 at the met museum and 8360 At the Ethnologisches Museum) 16th century bronze plaques depicting Portuguese merchants with the first two and the last one holding manillas (metal currency)
image of the Portuguese as ornaments on Benin containers.
Top: (29-93-6B at the penn museum) 19th century Ivory lidded box with two portuguese figures fighting besides a tethered pangolin. Bottom, left to right: (Af1878,1101.48.a-c at the british museum) 16th century ivory carved salt cellar with portuguese figures (1972.63a, b at the met museum) 16th century ivory carved salt cellar with portuguese figures (1991.17.79 at the met museum) 16th century brass Bracelet with alternating portuguese and mudfish heads
The type of depictions of the Portuguese in Benin's art underscores the nature of early Atlantic interactions between Africans and Europeans from the 15th to 18th century, where initial attempts to forcefully bring African kingdoms under European control ended in the latter's defeat, allowing African states to maintain full political autonomy while accommodating European commercial interests within their economies, and European military technologies within their armies23. While the commercial interactions of the Atlantic world are attimes misconceived as solely exploitative and unequal, there's growing evidence that the commodity exchanges of Atlantic trade were of minimal significance to the African economies and industries, the European imports were insufficient for domestic demand and were only pursued because of a desire for variety rather than to fulfill essential needs.24 Benin stands as the foremost example of early Afro-European interactions in the Atlantic, having banned the exportation of slaves since the early 16th century yet remained a wealthy state and a formidable regional power centuries after, and its artists’ depictions of Europeans on the periphery of courtly life as ornaments, but also part of the Oba’s iconography of commercial and military power, are a testament to this.
the Trader-colonialists : images of various Europeans in Vili art.
the Vili kingdom of Loango was a west-central African kingdom established in the 16th century on the north-western fringes of the better-known kingdom of Kongo, growing in the 17th century as an exporter of copper and ivory as it expanded into the Congolese interior, it underwent a period of internal political upheaval in the 18th century, when titled officials wrestled control from elected kings and for nearly a century between 1780s and 1870s, Loango was ruled by a council, which conveniently postponed the election of the king indefinitely, and it wasinturn headed by clerical figures called Nganga Mvumbi who legitimized the former, this served to buttress the bureaucracy whose control of society gradually became intrusive, leading to the break-away of several vassal states and its slow disintegration by the 19th century.25This period also coincided with the increased demand for (and thus exportation) of slaves, but the trade had largely declined by the mid 19th century, replaced by the commodities exports of ivory, palm oil and rubber, as dozens of European factory communities (from many nationalities including the Belgians, English, French, Portuguese, Dutch and the Germans), were set up further inland, precipitating an influx in ivory to a tune of 8 tonnes a year (about 1/6th of London's total imports), as well as significant quantities of palm oil and rubber by the 1860s, all of which involved an increase in the use of free and enslaved labor in the region immediately adjacent to the coast, and led to the decentralization of power and wealth. This radically altered the region’s political, economic and social landscape and lead to further political fractionation with the proliferation in several small states ruled by petty chiefs controlled by wealthy, titled figures such as the mafouks who dealt with the Europeans collecting taxes and fixing market prices26, at a time when the region had become fully integrated into the Atlantic economy and more vulnerable to global economic shocks such as the the sharp fall in commodity prices in the 1880s that was also devastating for the west African coast.27The period between 1870s and 1890s was thus marked by a high degree of conflict and competition with clashes between European factory communities and local chiefs, as well as between the local chiefs.28
19th century Factory Da Silveira in Loango, French Congo (brazaville) photo taken arround 1900
This period of social upheaval was also marked by increased interaction between Europeans and Africans and a rapid shift in the balance power that came to favor the former. After the failed Portuguese attempt to colonize most of the upper west-central African coast in the 16th century, European coastal "factories"/forts were firmly under African control, paying rent to the neighboring Kings and subjected to raids and piracy from other African armies, ontop of this the European traders in the 19th century were making low margins on the commodities trade as African middlemen such as the vili retained the bulk of the profit; much to the resentment of the European traders who disliked the Africans’ prohibitions against Europeans travelling inland, and their cutting (rather than tapping) of rubber trees, which they considered wasteful. But the relationship between the coastal Africans and Europeans changed in the 1870s as prices fell, European traders became less tolerant of the middlemen and their presumed inefficiencies, their control of trade and their piracy, they started to attack the interior chiefs and pirates, and by-pass the Vili middlemen forcefully, added to this was the increasing despotism of the petty chiefs whose power became more intrusive as a consequence of growing labor demands to offset the falling export prices and the internecine jockeying for power, all of which heralded the early period of colonialism in the late 1880s that would greatly intensify these already negative social changes,29culminating in King Leopold’s mass atrocities in Congo that begun in the 1890s.
Among the professions that came to be in high demand during this period were ivory carvers, an old craft whose patrons were African royals and nobles, but came to include European collectors. European travelers in the region observed that Loango artists "many have an astounding skill in meticulously carving freehand" and on top of depicting the usual African scenes (which made up the majority of the carvings), they also included scenes of with European figures (although these made up as little as 6% of all carvings), often portraying European customs and mythical Christian figures in works of satire.30The carved tusks show pictorial narratives made by various artists working independently of each other and without a standard theme (unlike the centrally controlled artists of Benin and Kush), these figures depicted include titled Africans wearing headcaps (these could be rulers, but were most likely mafouk chiefs 31), humorous vignettes, fighters and dancers, harvesters and hunters, processions of porters carrying goods to the coast for export, or carrying back boxes of imported goods into the interior, as well as chained slaves (these are likely anachronistic depictions of the past slave trade as it had ended by then32or were depictions of the contemporary internal slave trade fueled by labour demands for commodity produce33) Also included are European figures wearing 19th century European attire, they also carry rifles, documents, cigars and umbrellas. “In general terms so-called Loango carved tusks can be seen to constitute an innovative art form that seems to draw on both European and Kongo forms of visual communication”.34
19th century Loango carved ivory tusks and container, with depictions of Europeans:
This tusk (no. 2006.51.467 at the Yale university art gallery) portrays a vili artists’ understanding of European social life and customs and was likely a depiction of life in the European factory communities of the Loango coast, it is populated with seemingly unrelated scenes, depicting European men in various activities such as feeding a horse, toasting each other, tipping their hats and engaging in a transaction and wrestling, it also includes European women in long dresses and hats linking arms, and it reproduces Christian imagery in a satirical way, such as the crucified devil and humans with angels’ wings. The bottom tusk (2006.51.466 at the Yale university art gallery) depicts european men and women in the bottom half and africans in the top half, the former include a man and woman fleeing from an elephant, while a procession of hunters above them descend in the opposite direction with rifles to hunt the same, included are european figures doing mundane tasks, african figures procession
“It is very strange, one sees whites and assorted people represented with a great talent for observation and mockery.” Father Campana observing the Longo tusks in 1895.35
this tusk (no. 2006.51.468 at the Yale university art galley) on the other hand, captures the growing imbalance in power at the eve of colonialism. From the bottom, it depicts a figure harvesting palm oil while another hunts an animal, followed by a procession that begins with a titled figure, with a ankle-length cloth and a headcap driving a group of chained slaves, next in line is a man holding a staff, two porters carrying a hammock, and a European (with an umbrella, a long coat, trousers and shoes) at the head of the procession, followed by other potters, monkeys stealing alcohol, African traders carrying a large fish, a cloth trader, a village scene, and on the top is an titled figure being restrained from flogging a subject.
this ivory receptacle (no. 1993.382a, b at the met museum) portrays the Vili artists' understanding of the nature of the interactions between the Europeans and Africans of the Loango coast in the late 19th century, with two registers showing diametrically opposite scenes in which the top register shows a orderly scene depicting European men (wearing, coats, shirts and trousers,) Engaging in acts of commercial exchange, holding rifles, cigars, umbrellas, keys and a document. While the bottom register, shows African men in a violent scene, with a titled figure wearing a head cap (possibly a mafouk) forcefully restraining a man while holding a bottle of alcohol as a porter kneels behind him carrying a large calabash, another scene shows a titled figure with an imported Fez hat (possibly a wealthy trader) reprimanding a subject . The contrast between the orderly exchange between the European traders above and the violent scene between titled African figures and their subjects below, and the implication of the former causing the latter, is hard to miss.36
The image of the European in Loango art of the late 19th century is a mix of satire and realism, Loango artists expressed humor, ridicule, and critique through their imagery, and their realism in depicting coastal life including violent scenes of titled African figures, reflected the desires and biases of both client and artist.37The Loango ivories are arguably the best African pictorial representation of the social upheavals along the late 19th century African coast, as well as the shifting economic and political power of the Afro-European interactions; providing a near perfect photograph of the "economic basis of imperialism" in Africa that led to colonialism. The non-violent exchanges between the European traders and African middlemen, broke down in the late 19th century as each party disputed over the distribution of reduced profits, with the African producers and middlemen expanding labor use (both free and servile) to offset falling earnings (thus making their rule more intrusive), while European traders increasingly moved inland to bypass the African middlemen and applied more forceful means to control the markets, urging their metropolitan governments, now emboldened by their more efficient fire-arms (and thus reduced cost of war), to adopt more "active policies" (ie: colonial conquest).38While the ivories were primarily intended as souvenirs for European consumption39, the Loango ivory carvers depict African agency in Afro-European interactions40but also portray the growing imbalance in power and Africans’ perception of their rapidly changing society in which Europeans played a prominent role.
Conclusion: the European as an evolving “other” in African art
Depictions of Europeans in African art provide a condensed portrait of the evolving nature of Afro-European interactions throughout history; the inclusion of the Roman captives in Kush’s royal iconography represented the perception of the romans in Kush; as the first foreign army to invade Kush's heartlands, their decisive defeat was commemorated by the rulers of Kush who innovated a new depiction of captives, to represent the vanquished Roman. The Benin depictions of the Portuguese on the other hand, took place within an era of “relative compatibility and mutual respect" between African states and the Europeans, the europeans are thus included in the corpus of Benin's art, but are visibly relegated to the periphery of the main scenes, representing the marginal role Europeans played during this era. In contrast to Kush and Benin however, the late-19th century setting of the Loango tusks was a mix of contact and catastrophe, as coastal societies were gradually coming under Europe’s political orbit, and European rationales for alleged superiority were now deeply entrenched, justifying the unequal and forceful nature of interaction between Africans and Europeans.
The image of the European "other" in African art was therefore not monolithic. While white skin and the Atlantic sea (from where the Europeans came) were both universally associated with the world of the dead among many of the coastal African societies41, African artists weren’t pre-occupied with including concepts of the european "other" in their cosmologies nor in moralistic dichotomies of good and evil. The european traders' increasingly unequal interactions with the Vili societies also didn’t prompt its artists to create caricatured depictions of them, instead opting for pointed imagery and satirical critiques. Whereas Kush and Benin's stylistic constancy in depicting europeans underscores the stately restrictions under which their artworks were created and the political stability in which the artists lived, the 19th century Loango ivories’ "stylistic unruliness" is a reflection of the messiness of their commissioning and the upheaval in the society around their artists. African depictions of Europeans are therefore visual relics of the evolving nature of contacts between the two societies through history.
19th century carved Loango ivory tusk, depicting a european sailor looking through a spyglass (96-28-1, smithsonian museum)
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The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Nubia by Bruce Williams and Geoff Emberling pg 605-643)
Meroe City, Six Studies on the Cultural Identity of an Ancient African State, Volume 16 by László Török pg 209-211
The Representation of Captives and Enemies in Meroitic Art by Janice Yellin pg 585-592)
first photo and illustration: The Royal Cemeteries of Kush by Dows Dunham Vol. IV, pg 138, Plate LV, fig 90, the second photo and illustration (same book); pg 150, Plate LVI, fig 90
The Image of the Ordered World in Ancient Nubian Art by László Török pg 244
The kingdom of kush by L. Torok pg 451-455)
Headhunting on the Roman Frontier by Uroš Matić pg 128-9)
The Image of the Ordered World in Ancient Nubian Art by László Török pg 216-218
Les interprétations historiques des stèles méroïtiques d’Akinidad à la lumière des récentes découvertes by Claude Rilly pg 33-50
(see photo in footnote 11 above)
Pliny's natural history book VI pg 159
Herodotus in Nubia by László Török
A study of the Portuguese-Benin Trade Relations: Ughoton as a Benin Port (1485 -1506) by Michael Ediagbonya
Royal Art of Benin by Kate Ezra pg 12-14, 69, 122-130)
The Benin Plaques: A 16th Century Imperial Monument by Kathryn Wysocki Gunsch pg 86-88)
Art and Risk in Ancient Yoruba by Suzanne Preston Blier pg 278, 487
Imaging Otherness in Ivory by SP Blier pg 384
Imaging Otherness in Ivory by SP Blier pg 385)
Royal Art of Benin by Kate Ezra pg pg 245-247)
Royal Art of Benin by Kate Ezra pg 156-157, 161)
A Cultural History of the Atlantic World, 1250-1820 by John Thornton pg 248-261
Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, 1400-1800 by John Thornton pg 45
A History of West Central Africa to 1850 by John Thornton pg 65-67, 136-139, 249, 304-307
Kongo: Power and Majesty By Alisa LaGamma pg 74
An economic history of West Africa by A. G. Hopkins pg 183-184)
Catastrophe and Creation by K. Elkholm Friedmann pg pg 33-38
Catastrophe and Creation by K. Elkholm Friedmann pg 47-56)
Kongo power and majesty by Alisa LaGamma pg 79-84)
Kongo: Power and Majesty By Alisa LaGamma pg 64-69
A Companion to Modern African Art by Gitti Salami, Monica Blackmun Visona pg 64-65
Strother, Zoe S. "Depictions of Human Trafficking on Loango Ivories." In Humor and Violence: Seeing Europeans in Central African Art, 1850–1997
Subtracting the Narrative by Zachary Kingdon pg 22
A Companion to Modern African Art by Gitti Salami, Monica Blackmun Visona pg 64
see the museum commentary at the met. taken from “Humor and Violence: Seeing Europeans in Central African Art, 1850–1997 by Zoe Strother
A Companion to Modern African Art by Gitti Salami, Monica Blackmun Visona pg 62-65
An economic history of West Africa by A. G. Hopkins pg 191-209
Through African Eyes: The European in African Art, 1500 to Present pg 159
Subtracting the Narrative by Zachary Kingdon pg 31-33
Imaging Otherness in Ivory by Suzanne Preston Blier pg 378-381