Court of the King of Attah (Iddah), 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 (bottom). (Copy in Library of Congress, Rare Book/Special Collections)

Shows king giving audience, surrounded by retainers and other members of court; queen is seated to the king's right. The king of Attah, or Iddah, had invited Allen and his companions for a visit, for which occasion the queen had prepared a feast. The king was "gaily dressed for the occasion in a profusion of robes, necklaces, etc. . . . His legs were encased in a pair of boots made of printed cloth, with tops like brass fenders sticking out at right angles from his shins. . . . He sat on a large cushion, at the edge of a verandah of a thatched hut. The queen sat on the ground at his right hand, and behind, in the shade of the verandah, were his wives and female slaves. Some of the courtiers were respectably dressed, while others were in rags. . . . The thatch was adorned with some pieces of Manchester cotton" (Allen, p. 16).