Hammock Travel, Angola, 1786-87

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Image Reference

Louis de Grandpre, Voyage a la cote occidentale d'Afrique, fait dans les années 1786 et 1787 (Paris, 1801), vol. 1, facing p. 99. (Copy in Library Company of Philadelphia)

Caption, "Tati, surnommé Desponts, courtier de Malembe, venant de sa petite-terre, en hamac". Shows a Congolese nobleman/wealthy man, carried on a hammock, suspended from a large pole and carried by four men (slaves?). The author notes that "Congolese blacks travel on foot if they are not wealthy or cannot afford to travel by hammock, as illustrated here. The hammock is made of cotton, and is suspended from a bamboo pole which is carried by four porters." He gives a lengthy description of the hammock's construction and how the traveller is positioned in it (pp. 98-99; our translation). Author was a French Naval officer who was mainly in the Angola region; engravings in his book were made from drawings done from his own observations in 1786-87.