Village Scene, Jogguh, Central Nigeria, 1832-33


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Image Reference
Allen13

Source
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. 11. (Copy in Library of Congress, Rare Book/Special Collections)

Comments
Caption, "huts at Jogguh"; shows details of house construction, miscellaneous items of material culture (e.g., pottery, wood stool, mortar and pestle, reed mats). "The houses . . . . usually contain but one chamber each; although sometimes a small space is partitioned off for a store or lumber closet. A few have flat ceilings of palm branches laid diagonally, but they are mostly open to the apex of the high conical thatched room, and abundantly garnished with cobwebs. The floor is of mud, sometimes tessellated with bits of earthenware jars; more frequenty, however, it is simply the rough uneven ground . . . . The only admission of light and air, is by a small doorway . . . . The meals are always eaten in the open air, or under verandahs formed by the projecting thatch of the roof, where the master of the house luxuriates with his friends, sending forth volumes of smoke . . . . The dwelling [depicted in the illustration] . . . may be considered as a fair specmen of the residence of a respectable individual" (Allen, p. 11). Jogguh seems to refer to the Jukun Kingdom, located on the banks of the Middle Niger, northwest of the Niger-Benue confluence (thanks to G. Ugo Nwokeji for this identification).