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Vintage Africa
Casimir Zagourski & Conan Doyle


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Banza girl

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Casimir Zagourski (1880 – 1941)

An outstanding photographic reportage from the Twenties and Thirties which brings back the memory of ways of living, ceremonies, adorned bodies of an Africa that can aptly be defined as ‘lost’.

These extraordinary, unpublished pictures, taken with great technical skill and with a sense of great dignity of the people portrayed, constitute a monument of the African continent as it was.
Casimir Ostoja Zagourski (1880 – 1941) was the first professional photographer to travel throughout the interior of Congo and visited also the neighbouring countries, Tchad, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Kenya and South Africa.

During his long stay in Africa he took hundreds of pictures, 500 of which, divided in two series on different tribes, build up to a unique historic and ethnographic survey.
His forays into the depths of the African continent took him into the most remote villages of the Kuba, Mangbetu, Bwaka, Tutsi, Masai etc. where he took unprecedented pictures of great ethnographic interest.

He documented, for example, ceremonies (initiation, circumcision, excision, masks dances etc.), the great African creativity in body ornament (from scarification to hair dresses, from jewellery to lip plugs), clothes and all utilitarian objects places in their appropriate cultural context (musical instruments, shields, stools, knives, containers etc.)


African Beauties
Photos By Casimir Zagourski

Ecuador Province (Belgian Congo)

  • Banza Tribe

  • Ngombe Tribe

  • Mbouaka women

  • Mbouaka women with child

  • Women at work

  • Mbouaka families and houses

  • Female circumsision or excision

Ritual excision of young girls in the Mbouaka tribe. The crudeness of the means used to operate renders some scenes almost unbearable to see.

Eastern Province - Maniema
The people of Maniema were former cannibals.

  • Bakumu women

  • Bakumu men

  • Bakumu men and musicians

  • Mongelima tribe

The Crime of the Congo
By Arthur Conan Doyle

  • Introduction

  • How the Congo Free State Came to Be Founded

  • The Development of the Congo State

  • The Working of the System

  • First Fruits of the System

  • Further Fruits of the System

  • Voices from the Darkness

  • Consul Roger Casement's Report

  • King Leopold's Commission and its Report

  • The Congo After the Commission

  • Some Catholic Testimony as to the Congo

  • The Evidence Up to Date

  • The Political Situation

  • Some Congo State Apologies

  • Solutions

Ebook screen shots


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