Clothing Style, Wolof Merchant, Senegal, 1850s

Click on the image to open a larger version in a new window.
previous image return to thumbnails next image

If you are interested in using this image, please consult Acknowledging the Website.

Image Reference

P. David Boilat, Esquisses Sengelaises (Paris, 1853), plate 8 (Special Collections, University of Virginia Library)

The man is shown in full and elaborate dress, carrying a walking stick and an amulet (gris-gris) around his neck. He is a "marchand de pagnes" ("pagnes" are long narrow strips of woven cotton). The merchant is carrying three samples of different types and prices; one on his head and the other two on each shoulder. Boilat writes that he encountered this man one day and requested permission to draw him which was readily given (p. 15); all of the author's drawings were made from life, and the 24 published plates are explained in an accompanying text. For biographical details on Boilat, see image reference Boilat01.