Clothing Style, Wolof Queen, Senegal, 1850s

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Image Reference

P. David Boilat, Esquisses Sengelaises (Paris, 1853), plate 5 (Special Collections, University of Virginia Library)

Captioned, "Reine du Walo, Woloffe", shows Queen Ndeté-Yalla in her royal attire sitting on a mat covered bench, smoking a long-stemmed pipe. She wears a bead necklace and bracelets on both wrists, and a leather purse hangs from her neck. The author provides a lengthy description of his visit to the Queen: "we were presented to Her Majesty," he writes, "who received us graciously and spoke to us in a low voice" (pp. 10-12). Boilat made his drawings from life; his 24 plates are explained in an accompanying text. Walo was a pre-colonial Wolof state. For biographical details on Boilat, see image reference Boilat01.