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Catalog Data

Elisofon, Eliot  Search this
Kwεt áMbwε'ky René (III)  Search this
Collection Photographer:
Elisofon, Eliot  Search this
1 negatives (photographic) (b&w, 35mm.)
Kuba (African people)  Search this
Archival materials
Negatives (photographic)
Black-and-white negatives
Congo (Democratic Republic)
Scope and Contents:
The photograph depicts Nyim Kot a Mbweeky III wearing abacost, which is the name for the male attire favored by Mobutu and promoted as part of the authenticity campaign, consisting of a short-sleeved suit worn without a tie. The word abacost is derived from the French a bas le costume, or "down with the suit." During his trip to Congo (now Democratic Republic of Congo), Elisofon visited the village of Bungamba (Bongamba, Bongaam) between Mweka and Luebo, in the Kuba region. This photograph was taken when Eliot Elisofon traveled to Africa from March 17, 1970 to July 17, 1970.
The full name of the Kuba Nyim depicted on the photograph is Kwεt áMbwε'ky René (III): aka Køt áMbwε'ky. Most full names consist of three successive personal names: the king's own name, the name of his mother and the name of his mother's mother connected by particles meaning "of." Only this ruler has a Christian name. The aka names are often used. The names are taken from Vansina Jan, Geschiedenis van de Kuba, Tervuren 1963 (genealogy 270,- 71; kings # 17 and following p.319-28).
Local Numbers:
EENG-I-35, 15A.
Title source: Index card based on photographer's notes.
Local Note:
Typed index card reads, "G 3 Kba. Kuba. Zaire, Bungabo. Kot aMbweeky III (ruled 1969-). King (Nyim) in "Mobutu suit" and fake leopardskin hat. 4/22/1970. EE. I-35, 15A." The card was written in 1977-79 by Archives staff using source provided by photographer.
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original records requires an appointment. Contact Archives staff for more details.
Collection Rights:
Permission to reproduce images from the Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives must be obtained in advance. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Clothing and dress -- Africa  Search this
Headdresses -- headgear -- Africa  Search this
Leaders  Search this
Portraits  Search this
Black-and-white negatives
Collection Citation:
Eliot Elisofon Field Collection, EEPA 1973-001, Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution
EEPA.1973-001, Item EEPA EENG 08591
See more items in:
Eliot Elisofon Field collection
Archival Repository:
Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives, National Museum of African Art