Sunday, April 01, 2007

Memories of Sierra Leone

Over the last two weeks, I've gone down memory lane about my first trip to Sierra Leone, 1975-77. First I spoke to the Albert Gallatin Scholars at Gallatin. Then I had a conversation with a Ph.D. history student who plans to work on Sierra Leonean visual culture at the turn of the 20th century. Some of my photos:

The picture above is of me around 1976 in front of the Big Market in Freetown, Sierra Leone, the main subject of my dissertation. It was taken in the evening after the market had closed. The Big Market was the central market of a wide-spread trading network that included many Krio women traders.

The second picture is of a market woman who had a stall at the Big Market. This was at the side of the market. She’s with her grandson and is wearing traditional Krio clothes, even though she was not herself a Krio.

Finally, this is the picture I took of the new Big Market when I visited Freetown in 2005. The old market had been burnt down during the civil war and this was its replacement.

For the official story on the rebuilding of the Big Market, see

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