Swahili Woman in Flamboyant Kanga and Turban

A.C. Gomes and Co.1900

Smithsonian National Museum of African Art

Smithsonian National Museum of African Art
Washington, DC, United States

Swahili woman posing with arms akimbo, flamboyantly dressed in printed kangas and turban and wearing jewelry

A.C. Gomes and Co.
Gelatin silver print
Zanzibar, c. 1900

During the 1870s, Zanzibar Town’s first commercial photography studios were among the earliest established in east Africa. A. C. Gomes and the brothers Felix and J.B. Coutinho, probably part of the Portuguese/Goan diaspora, sold portraits, views, and commercial subjects to the Sultan’s family and Zanzibari elite, as well as to the stream of foreign visitors and emigrés. But an entirely different kind of subject would soon emerge with the end of slavery in 1897 - images of newly freed women.


  • Title: Swahili Woman in Flamboyant Kanga and Turban
  • Creator: A.C. Gomes and Co.
  • Date Created: 1900
  • Location: Zanzibar, Tanzania
  • Subject Keywords: African Colonial Photographs
  • Type: Photograph, Portrait
  • Publisher: Winterton Collection of East African Photographs, Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies, Northwestern University, Evanston
  • External Link: Original Record
  • Medium: Gelatin silver print

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