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  • Elisofon, Eliot
  • Mangbetu (African people)
  • Portraits
  • Body arts
  • Africa
  • Congo (Democratic Republic)
  • Color slides
    Mangbetu woman with skull elongation, Medje village, Congo (Democratic Republic), [slide].
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    Elisofon, Eliot photographer.
    Mangbetu woman with skull elongation, Medje village, Congo (Democratic Republic), [slide].
    Contained in: 
    Eliot Elisofon Field photographs, 1942-1972
    Phy. Description: 
    slide : col.
    Digital Reference: 
    The photograph depicts old woman doing traditional hairstyle on Mbombio, Chief Mogendo's principal wife. "'Lipombo', the custom of skull elongation, which was a status symbol among the Mangbetu ruling classes at the beginning of the century and was later emulated by neighboring groups, evolved into a common ideal of beauty among the peoples of the northeastern Congo.According to schildkrout and Keim, the tradition survived until the middle of this century, when it was outlawed by the Belgian government. ." [Sieber R., Herreman F., 2000: Hair in African Art and Culture, Prestel]. During his trip to Congo (now Democratic Republic of Congo), Elisofon visited the Mangbetu people living in Medje village, southwest of Isiro. This photograph was taken when Eliot Elisofon was on assignment for National Geographic and traveled to Africa from March 17, 1970 to July 17, 1970.
    Image indexed by negative number.
    General Note: 
    Title is provided by EEPA staff based on photographer's notes.
    Permission to reproduce images from Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives must be obtained in advance. For information on photo services and research appointments, please visit <> or contact Archives staff at <>.
    Mangbetu (African people)
    Body arts
    Subject - Geographical: 
    Congo (Democratic Republic)
    Form / Genre: 
    Color slides
    Repository Loc: 
    Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of African Art, Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives, 950 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20560-0708
    Local Number: 
    EEPA EECL 3003
    D 3 MNG 19.1 EE 70
    Item Information
    RepositoryCall No. 
    Eliot Elisofon Photographic ArchivesEEPA EECL 3003Add Copy to MyList

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