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Ciku Kimeria
Writer, Adventurer, Development Consultant, Travelblogger
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piqer: Ciku Kimeria
Sunday, 08 October 2017

Rare Photos Spanning 50 Years Of The Benin State Royal Court

There are few memories I cherish as much as when I was growing up in Nairobi and we would have visitors over who we had not seen for a while. This was in the days before digital photography. Having eaten and chatted a bit, the next stage almost always involved my parents bringing out the tens of photo albums we had that captured the memories of their lives and those of their parents and sometimes grandparents. My favourite were always the black and white photos that captured an era between traditional life and modernity. I marveled at the huge necklaces, earrings and bangles that were worn by women of my great grandmother's generation. A few pages later, one would find pictures of school-going children in western school uniforms, though barefoot. A few albums later, I would get to marvel at the large afro my mother had in the 70s, the bell-bottom pants, the huge heels, the large nerdy glasses that have now come back in fashion. It was a great walk down memory lane. 

In this particular collection, one gets to see rare photos spanning 50 years of the royal court in Benin state, Nigeria. 

This exhibition represents a unique collection of archival photos that document the Benin-Edo peoples' tradition, culture and social history.
“Through his portrait photography in the Ideal Photo Studio, Alonge provided local residents—many for the first time—with the opportunity to represent themselves to themselves as dignified African subjects," Amy Staples, senior archivist at the National Museum of African Art, says. “His portraits of an emerging elite society in Benin City not only illustrate the cosmopolitan and modernizing influences of the 20th-century in Nigeria, they preserve the social history of Benin and its traditional leaders for future research and educational programs at the National Museum of Benin City."

Hopefully the reader enjoys looking at the lovely images that capture well this moment in time for the Benin-Edo people.

Rare Photos Spanning 50 Years Of The Benin State Royal Court
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