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Mabo Song


This is a written representation of the music from the dance mabo, BaAka music is complex. It is polyphonic (many voices) and polyrhythmic (many rhythms). During a dance, participants engage in structured improvisation, knowing when and how to add or change a phrase or a beat and doing so in relation to others. The social and the aesthetic work together.

Market in Southeastern Nigeria


This is an image of local women at a market in southeastern Nigeria in the 1930s. In the precolonial period, women in this society had a very strong role in the economy. They were, in fact, the major traders in palm oil. As palm oil becomes a more valuable export commodity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, men take over that trade. Women always maintain a role, although it becomes... Read More »

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Mau Mau Fighters in Scout Uniforms


In the early 1950s, tens of thousands of poor and landless Kikuyus revolted against the Kenyan colonial government and wealthy members of their own community who were allied with the British regime. Known as the "Mau Mau Emergency," this rebellion was one of the most serious threats to British rule in Africa. The widespread lawlessness of the Emergency inspired many young Africans to dress as... Read More »

Moonbeam Youth Training Center, Kenya


The video shows The Moonbeam Youth Training Centre in Mavoko, Nairobi. The Centre is a project of UN-HABITAT built with support from UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and UN-HABITAT Executive Director Mrs. Anna Tibaijuk. The purpose of the center is to improve housing in urban slums by training young people in low cost, alternative construction technologies. Trainees gain employable skills,... Read More »

Thumbnail image of Mud Crocodile Toy

Mud Crocodile Toy


This small sculpture of a crocodile is made of Nile River mud, and was probably a toy fashioned by a child at play. The crocodile was a familiar monster to children living along the Nile—an object of fear and fascination. This 5 centimeter (2 inch) long mud figurine has open jaws, slits for eyes, a curved tail that seems to whip it through the water, and feet that seem to be in motion. The... Read More »

Screenshot of Smithsonian National Museum of African Art homepage

National Museum of African Art

This site showcases an incredible collection of artwork from across the African continent, including more than 1,500 ancient artifacts, pieces collected in the colonial era, photographs, textiles, and works by modern African artists.

Organization of British Imperial Scouting


This chart shows the official lines of authority in the imperial Boy Scout movement. In theory, the Imperial Scout Headquarters had direct control over local versions of scouting through its territorial associations. Scouting was like a secular religion, with Baden Powell as its prophet-like founder whose writings were the core of the scout canon and whose personal example was the guide for... Read More »

A stone monument with a cross on top.



Annotation: Between 1482 and 1484 the Portuguese brought three pillars (or padraos) with them in their explorations of western Africa and placed them along the Congo River. The inscription: “ In the era of 6681 years from the creation of the world, 1482 years since the birth of Our Lord Jesus, the most High and Excellent and Mighty Prince, King D. João II of Portugal, sent Diogo Cão squire of... Read More »

Pathfinder Warrant


Imperial scout headquarters and the national and territorial scout associations were deeply concerned with ensuring that only respectable and responsible men became scoutmasters. In colonial Africa, this meant that potential scoutmasters had to also respect the political realities of European minority rule. As in Great Britain, acceptable candidates received a "warrant" from the territorial... Read More »

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Peter Kolb Travel Narrative 1


Peter Kolb was a German astronomer and mathematician who lived at the Cape from 1705 to 1713. He was initially sponsored by a German baron to make astronomical observations in pursuit of a way to calculate longitude accurately. When this project ended, Kolb stayed at the Cape and observed everything else. About three years after his return to Germany, he began to compile a book about his... Read More »