Enslaved Female, Eastern Sudan, 1871

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Image Reference

Georg Schweinfurth, The Heart of Africa [translated by Ellen Frewer], (New York, 1874), vol. 2, facing p. 420.

Head and face of unnamed captured East African woman; shows remnant of coffle rope around her neck. Married women among the Babuckur, according to Schweinfurth, "pierce the rims of their ears and both their lips, and insert bits of grass stalk about an inch long in the holes . . . . The portrait . . . is that of a Babuckur slave bound by a leather rope" ( vol. 2, pp. 258, 419). This image was reproduced in Thomas W. Knox, The Boy Travellers on the Congo (New York, 1888, p. 217), which is a condensation of H. M. Stanley's Through the Dark Continent (New York, 1878). The publishers of the Knox book took their images "from several volumes of African travel exploration" (p.2) but do not acknowledge their sources. This image does not seem to appear in any of Stanley's works, and was most likely taken from the earlier published volume by Schweinfurth. Although this image is occasionally reproduced in modern secondary works which cite Knox, the original source is not given; sometimes the individual is erroneously identified as a West African man.