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Black man in Mayombe wood. From Louis Marie Joseph de Grandpré, Voyage à la Côte Occidentale d’Afrique Fait dans les années 1786 et 1787. Paris,1801, volume II, between pages 48 and 49 (photograph courtesy of the Melville J. Herskovits Library of African  
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Cécile Fromont
College African Art and Architecture, The University of Chicago Read More ...
 
 
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Charting the origins and significance of the use of two types of specifically colored cloth in west central Africa, this lecture investigates visual, material, and social change in that region during the era of the slave trade. White uniforms worn by Christian church leaders and blue and white imported textiles, it argues, are two key examples that reveal how the inhabitants of the closely related regions of Kongo, Angola, and Loango welcomed and managed the novelties their sustained cross-cultural relations with Europeans and engagement in the slave trade ushered between the sixteenth and the nineteenth century. It reveals profound links between religion, power, and the slave trade and their bearing on central Africa from the early modern period to the eve of the colonial era.

Organized with the Acton Lectures.

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