Village Scene, Iddah, Nigeria, 1841

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This record was last updated on 02 Jun 2016

Image Reference

William Allen, A Narrative of the Expedition sent by Her Majesty's Government to the River Niger, in 1841 (London, 1848), vol. 1, p. 323.

Caption, "Native Manufacturers at Iddah." Image shows house types, mortar and pestle for pounding grain; iron workers with bellows in lefthand corner; in center, pits for dying cotton cloth. Allen writes: "Nearly all the dwellings of Iddah are circular . . . and are built of clay and small stones intermixed. The roof is conical, made of palm-leaves . . . .The overhanging edge of the roof protects from sun and rain . . . .The cloth is kept saturated in the pit for a fortnight, and sometimes three weeks, and certainly the colours are most beautiful . . . . the swords, spear-heads, arrows, are well tempered and not badly finished. The bellows are merely two wooden cylinders, each with a piston, and a piece of loose hide securely fastened around the handle and the top of the tube; by alternately depressing one and raising the other, a continuous current of air is conveyed through earthen pipes leading the fire" ( pp. 318, 322-23).