A Queen and Her Entourage, Central Nigeria, 1832-33

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Image Reference

William Allen, Picturesque views on the river Niger, sketched during Lander's last visit in 1832-33, by Commander William Allen (London, 1840), facing p. 16 (top). (Copy in Library of Congress, Rare Book/Special Collections)

Caption, "the morning call"; shows a local queen and her entourage calling on British visitors. Views of village with conical roofed houses; various male onlookers, some carrying spears. The king of this small kingdom afforded Allen and his companions lodging. The king's wife/Queen "did the very polite thing, by calling on us attended by her handmaidens. . . . Her hands and feet were deeply tinged with henna, and her lovely eyes with antimony. Her hair--thickly plastered with indigo--was enveloped in a sort of turban, and a country cloth encircled her waist with many graceful folds" (Allen, p. 16).