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  • Elisofon, Eliot
  • Kuba (African people)
  • Clothing and dress
  • Headdresses -- headgear
  • Weapons
  • Vernacular architecture
  • Regalia
  • Leaders
  • Cultural landscapes
  • Africa
  • Congo (Democratic Republic)
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    Kuba warrior dressed for the state visit of the Nyim (ruler) Kot a Mbweeky III, Bungamba village, Congo (Democratic Republic), [negative].
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    Elisofon, Eliot photographer.
    Kuba warrior dressed for the state visit of the Nyim (ruler) Kot a Mbweeky III, Bungamba village, Congo (Democratic Republic), [negative].
    Contained in: 
    Eliot Elisofon Field photographs, 1942-1972
    Phy. Description: 
    photographic negative b&w; 35mm.
    Digital Reference: 
    The photograph depicts high-ranking Kuba warrior wearing traditional costume, as well as symbolic adornements, for the state visit of the Nyim Kot a Mbweeky III. The hat of the iyol is distinguished by four large rounded tufts of raffia. Sometimes the hat is disguised by feathers and skins which completely cover the head and the back of the neck. Furthermore, The type of necklace, known as ishep, is only worn by titled soldiers." [Cornet J., 1982: Art Royal Kuba, Edizioni Sipiel Milano]. "The emphasis on titleholding and the competition for and the subsequent prestige that accrues to titleholders is a dominant aspect of Kuba culture (Vansina, 1978; Binkley, 1987). Kuba hats are important visual manifestations of Kuba ideas about ethnicity and leadership. Each tiled position has emblems, symbols, and praise names associated with it." [Darish P., Binkley D., 1995: Headdresses and Titleholding Among the Kuba, Crowning Achievements, UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History]. During his trip to Congo (now Democratic Republic of Congo), Elisofon visited the village of Bungamba (Bongamba, Bongaam) between Mweka and Luebo, in the Kuba region. This photograph was taken when Eliot Elisofon traveled to Africa from March 17, 1970 to July 17, 1970.
    Image index by negative number and EEPA subject categories.
    General Note: 
    Title source: Index card 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 <>.
    The Elisofon black-and-white negatives are currently in the process of digitization and many are unavailable for reproduction. If the catalogue record has a thumbnail image attached, please contact the Archives staff for access at <>.
    Kuba (African people)
    Clothing and dress -- Africa
    Headdresses -- headgear -- Africa
    Vernacular architecture
    Cultural landscapes
    Subject - Geographical: 
    Congo (Democratic Republic)
    Form / Genre: 
    Black-and-white negatives
    Repository Loc: 
    Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of African Art, Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives, 950 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20560-0708
    Local Number: 
    EEPA EENG 09003
    EENG-I-34, 4A.
    Item Information
    RepositoryCall No. 
    Eliot Elisofon Photographic ArchivesEEPA EENG 09003Add Copy to MyList

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