This collection consists of negatives and photographic prints taken in 1936 and 1937 by Eva L.R. Meyerowitz in Nigeria, Benin and Ghana. Peoples depicted include the Akan, Fon, Konkomba, and Tallensi and subjects include artisans, blacksmiths, dancing, markets, artwork and objects that were originally displyed in King Bezu's palace in Abomey, potters, shrines, and vernacular architeture.
Scope and Contents:
This collection measures 0.5 cubic feet and consists of negatives and photographs taken by Eva L.R. Meyerowitz in Abomey, Republic of Benin; Umahahya, Nigeria; and Techiman, Ghana. Peoples depicted include the Akan, Fon, Konkomba, and Tallensi. Subjects include artisans; artwork and objects that were originally displyed in King Bezu's palace in Abomey, including sculptures, staffs, applique cloth, and bas-reliefs; blacksmiths; dancing; a Legba shrine; markets, including one in Bohicon, Nigeria; potters; priests and priestesses at Abomey; and vernacular architeture. Individuals depicted include two wives of King Behanzin, Prince Justin Aho, and the only surviving Dahomey Amazon women warriors who had fought against the French in 1894.
Series 2: Photographic Prints, 0.4 cubic feet (3 volumes), circa 1936 - circa 1937
Biographical / Historical:
Born in Berlin, Eva Lewin-Richter Meyerowitz (1899-1994) was an anthropologist and photographer. In 1925 she married sculptor, educator, and British colonial administrator in Africa, Herbert Meyerowitz (1900-1945). They had one child. Eva and Herbert moved to South Africa and collaboratively surveyed the indigenous crafts of the Gold Coast. In South Africa, Herbert taught at Cape Town University and opened an art school. Having moved away from Africa for several years, Meyerowitz returned after World War II and lived for forty years in the Bono-Tekyiman State of Ghana. She was made Queen Mother there in 1950.
Some of Meyerowitz's publications include: The Akan of Ghana (1958); The Divine Kingship in Ghana and Ancient Egypt (1962); and At the Court of an African King (1962).
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Permission to reproduce images from the Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives must be obtained in advance. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.