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: British Empire & Commonwealth

: Wright

: 2000/084/1/1/3

: Somalia album

: c. 1938-1942

: ACAW was seconded to the British Military Administration which governed Somalia from 1941 to 1949 following the British wartime occupation of Italian Somaliland. He spent the second half of 1941 there, before returning in August 1942 after injury and a spell of convalescence in Kenya. The majority of the photographs in this album appear to have come from the bundles which ACAW rescued from the Italian headquarters, which became the Occupied Enemy Territory Administration after British occupation. Most of them feature Somalia and Somali people, and some images taken or purchased by ACAW are probably included as well. The album may have been compiled and annotated after ACAW left the country, as it also includes portrait shots of local people from tribes in Eritrea, where ACAW was posted later on. So many pages and photographs are missing that it is difficult to get a sense of the album as it would have originally been constituted. Some of the pages have been captioned with the names of places depicted, including Mogadishu 1942, the River Webi Shebelli, Afgoi, Brava and Merka. The photographs include street scenes, landscapes, places of historical interest such as mosques and the ancient citadel of Gondershe, countryside and river scenes, people and animals in agricultural settings and camel caravans. There are several pictures of thatched houses in what is possibly a Bedouin village. There are also a number of panoramic photographs, including views which may be of Kismayo and of El Carre in Ethiopia ACAW's anthropological interest is demonstrated by the focus on traditional industries and close up images of people, their homes and their tools. These include basket, rug and cloth weavers, potters, and market traders. There is a close up shot of a young boy writing out the Koran. There are also some images of people begging, including children who may be refugees in Meschinopoli near Mogadishu. Some images are included of fighting, although it is unclear whether this is actual combat or part of some kind of festival, as there are also images of music-making and dancing which may be part of a ceremony. Alongside these are a large number of portrait shots, often from studios, which focus intently on the people themselves. One portrait is of Wali Soliman, described as the Senior Sheikh of Mogadishu who is also featured in images in other parts of the collection. There are a large number (c. 170) of images which appear to have been removed from this album, as evidenced by the backing paper stuck to them. These have been kept together as a separate series at 2000/084/1/1/4.

Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea

: 1 volume, 1 envelope

: File

: 1 large hard-backed album with 34 pages, most of which have had photographs glued to them although many photos have been removed or become loose. Two leaves are loose, and at least another 8 have been removed and lost. Some of the pages carry manuscript titles, and many of the images carry manuscript captions on the reverse, although these are only visible on the loose pictures. Loose images have been removed into an envelope, with the pages where they were found marked on the reverse.

This object is in store, please contact the Bristol Record Office to arrange to see the object.