[Bruxelles]: Mme Vve Monnom, . First edition. Softcover. Folio (14 1/2 x 11"). 44 loose text pages numbered 163 to 206, as issued. Original printed stiff paper portfolio.
Illustrated with 280 splendid in-text photographic reproductions in duo-tone, this annex to the Annals of the Museum of the Congo is devoted to the daily life of the natives of the État Indépendant du Congo (Congo Free State*) "as it appeared to Stanley."
Races and tribes, women, trafficking, commerce, markets, construction, industry, navigation, fishing and hunting, washing and dressing before and after the European occupation, tattoos, Hairstyle, religion and rites, palaver, dance and singing, games, hygiene, bathing are some of the main the topics examined in this volume.
Closed tears and sporadic chipping along spine. Minor soiling to covers. Upper corner bumped, thus slightly affecting pages throughout. Text in French. Portfolio in overall good-, interior in very good condition. g- to vg. Item #42026
* The Congo Free State was a large state in Central Africa from 1885 to 1908, which was in personal union with the Kingdom of Belgium under Leopold II. Leopold was able to procure the region by convincing the European community that he was involved in humanitarian and philanthropic work and would not tax trade. Via the International Association of the Congo he was able to lay claim to most of the Congo basin. On May 29, 1885, the king named his new colony the Congo Free State. The state would eventually include an area about the size of the present Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Leopold's reign in the Congo eventually earned infamy due to the increasing mistreatment of the indigenous peoples. Leopold extracted ivory, rubber, and minerals in the upper Congo basin for sale on the world market, even though his nominal purpose in the region was to uplift the local people and develop the area. Under Leopold II's administration, the Congo Free State became one of the greatest international scandals of the early 20th century. The report of the British Consul Roger Casement led to the arrest and punishment of white officials who had been responsible for killings during a rubber-collecting expedition in 1903.
The loss of life and atrocities inspired literature such as Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, and raised an international outcry. Debate has been ongoing about the high death rate in this period. The boldest estimate concludes that the forced labour system led directly and indirectly to the deaths of 20 percent of the population. During the Congo Free State propaganda war, European and US reformers exposed atrocities in the Congo Free State to the public through the Congo Reform Association, founded by Casement and the fervent humanitarian journalist E. D. Morel. Also active in exposing the activities of the Congo Free State was the author Arthur Conan Doyle, whose book The Crime of the Congo was widely read in the early 1900s. By 1908, public pressure and diplomatic manoeuvres led to the end of Leopold II's rule and to the annexation of the Congo as a colony of Belgium. It became known thenceforth as the Belgian Congo. In addition, a number of major Belgian investment companies pushed the Belgian government to take over the Congo and develop the mining sector. (From Wikipedia).