House of Muslim Religious Leader, Fandah, Central Nigeria, 1832-33

previous image return to thumbnails next image

Click on the image to open a larger version in a new window.

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

Image Reference
Allen10

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. 15 (bottom). (Copy in Library of Congress, Rare Book/Special Collections)

Comments
Caption, "the interior of the chief malen's house." Allen had received a message that "Ibrahim, the head Malem, wished to see me." Following his guide, he "entered a court-yard filled with people. On the opposite side was a square building having more pretensions to architectural design, than any I had seen. On each side of a low doorway, were placed a drawn dagger and a book. I entered . . . a large apartment dimly lighted and filled with people. It was divided by a wall through which were three openings; that in the center being an archway ornamented with a moulding. Through one of these I was led to a venerable man, who sat alone on a white bull's hide, his elbow resting on a cushion . . . . He gave me to understand that he was the High Priest among the Mahomedans; and expressed himself highly gratified at my visit . . . .The courty-yard was filled with devout loungers, who attended the Malem's levee . . . . Other courts on each side were occupied by the numerous wives, children, and slaves of the Patriarch...." (Allen, p. 15).