Archiv der Kategorie: ENGLISCH/ FRANZÖSISCH

Some visitors head for my website through GOOGLE TRANSLATE. Sometimes the offered translations into English (ou Francais) are still defective or dark in some crucial points (terms or grammar). So I use Google’s propositions as a ‘trampoline’ to find the right words more or less spontaniously.

Begegnung mit einer hölzernen Leopardenmaske der Edo (Bini)


>>  English Summary at the end

Hochgeladen 25.Oktober 2020, aktualisiert 19.Juli 2023

Drei Wochen im Oktober                 

Mein kongolesischer Händler und Freund auf dem Markt ist immer für Überraschungen gut. Von dem jungen Mann aus Brazzaville, der ihn gelegentlich mit Objekten „aus dem Norden“, wo die zentralafrikanischen Staaten aufeinandertreffen, versorgt, hat er eine Maske bekommen, die er „im Kongo nie gesehen“ hat. Kein Wunder, denn ist zu hundert Prozent ein Leopardenkopf im Stil der Benin-Bronzen. Damit hören die Gewissheiten aber bereits auf und die Irrfahrt durch die Fachliteratur beginnt. Der Kopf ist aus Holz.






“Hommage aux anciens créateurs” (Chéri Samba) – toujours de nouveaux épisodes!


Publié le 2 sept. 2020    Dernieère version: le 10 mai 2023

LIEN à la version actuelle en allemand             LIEN au premier Blog sur la peinture de 1999 .

Actuellement au Quai Branly dans “EX AFRICA”


Une deuxième version du sujet apparaît dans le catalogue de l’exposition «Neue Kunst aus Afrika» de la «Haus der Kulturen der Welt» à Berlin, avec la date 1994.


Religion et orthodoxie – non-communication au Congo belge – Kimbanguisme


Religion et orthodoxie – communication coloniale au Congo belge – Kimbanguisme

Wyatt MacGaffey :”Kimbanguism & the Question of Syncrétism in Zaïre” 1994

Traduction : v.Graeve (LIEN à la version en allemand).   4 Illustrations

Wyatt MacGaffey a publié l’essai dans l’anthologie intitulée à juste titre « Religion in Africa. Experience and expression », ed. Blakely et al., pp. 240-256 – 1994).

Il y présente les développements et les tactiques des églises revivalistes concurrentes dans les pas de Simon Kimbangu (1887 ou 1889 jusqu’ à 1951, mort en prison), disciple «baptiste», prophète visionaire 1921 et martyr. Il explique la communication perturbée dans le contexte de la domination coloniale. Je traduis (en italique) longues passages de son argumentation en espérant de ne pas brouiller la clarté de son concept par mes commentaires courts personnels. >>

Pende Dance Mask ‘Tundu’ (?) with a Thick Lip – Email + deutsch


Dear Zoé,

Maybe the email will bring  a little variety in your stressful academic day.

‘Tundu’ on the left side

After a few random and bulky mask offers, it’s the first piece that can at least dialogue with my red mask made by “Mashini Gitshiola” (LINK to “Beautiful Dancer of the Eighties”)


It wears well, is light (260g), smooth on the inside, a little shiny in the center. Her cap also fits me well and her fine whiskers are braided from the ends of the textile. >>

Encounter with ‘Belle Madeleine’, a ‘Kifwebe’ among the south-eastern Luba


German original, uploaded:   |

On the market

In June 2019, Wardin Wamba, after his annual return from Congo, launches two “white woman” masks of the kind used in kifwebe dances in south-east Luba.  At first I do not notice the special quality of the version of a mature woman, because of a fresh and oversized bushy beard made of raffia straw. Later, Wardin bravely cuts it off, and the mask instantly transforms into a slender, well-proportioned mask body of the kind pleasing to the eye and depicted in Felix (“Luba Zoo,” see below). So, on the first occasion, I only acquire the version of a young girl who populates the world of traditional Luba female sculpture, one has to say ‘adultimately’. It is a typical dance mask: light, rubbed to a shine internally through the chin and skullcap of a slim dancer, with a view through three openings, and up to the top of the elaborate coiffure many practical drilled holes on three levels for fastening the costume. Wardin’s comment that the ‘Belle Madeleine’ mask appeared with the popular animal masks and his reference to “books and the internet” made me search Google Search and found what I was looking for. Here I quote a number from the random offer at ‘Google Images for …’, where my uploads also appear – always without being asked: >>

“What is on the pictures in the archive?” (Anthropology) plus “The Future is Blinking”


First uploaded: May 28 to July 19, 2018   (Link to the German original); Reference to “The Future is Blinking” July 13, 2022 >>

Stephen O. Murray on “The Ethnoromantic Temptation” (1981) – Review


Kind of Review : “The Scientist and the Irrational – Volume I – Contributions from Ethnology and Anthropology” (1981)  Edited by Hans Peter Duerr” ​​- The title is still appealing.

Translation : November 8, 2021 | dvg   Review written in German : 11.1.2020 (LINK)

Sorry, German is essential for this book and the essay reviewed. By the way, I know and appreciate a lot of Anthropology books that have not been translated into English and are not available digitally.

In autumn 2019, while rummaging through an antiquarian bookshop, I came across two thick paperbacks that were published by Syndikat in Frankfurt forty years ago (1981). But as a high school teacher, I looked in a different direction. Its soiled cover still exudes some of its former elegance – bold colored frontispiece surrounded by white. Inside, there is bold black printing in a reader-friendly size, in complete contrast to Suhrkamp’s scientific paperbacks!

The 690 pages are about “Years of Apprenticeship”, “Shamans, Witches, Ethnographers”, “… “What the Professor Didn’t Say”, “The Description of the Stranger in Science”, “Irrational in Science – Lifelong”, ” Religion of the People and Religion of the Scholars” and much more. A whole volume of “Ethnology and Anthropology”!

“The Ethnoromantic Temptation” (p.377ff.) left the strongest impression on me on nine printed pages by Stephen O. Murray (*1950 in St.Paul, Minnessota, including “The Scientistic Reception of Castaneda” 1979). I am uploading my reading notes and subjective conclusions from autumn 2019 today. I hope the messages from Murray & Co get through to you anyway. >>

Fritz Wiegmann Portraits of American G.I.s – Leroy Schauder July 1945


I wrote in the article about Wiegmann’s years in Hof a.d. Saale (in German,LINK):

Survival  –  In February 1945, Fritz Wiegmann was transferred from Berlin to Hof an der Saale in Upper Franconia for the purpose of a gallstone operation and was overtaken there by American troops in April 1945. The population of the city on the border to the Egerland swelled at times to 55,200 inhabitants due to refugees and displaced persons. At that time he also spoke to Stauffenberg’s widow several times, already behind American lines in the home of a family friend. Explosives for the assassination of Hitler had been supplied by the Secret Service and should have formed a crater. But the barracks had been dug in. v.Trott was the ‘head’ of the opposition; his request in England for an armistice was answered in the negative: unconditional surrender! (Personal communication in the late 1960s.) Then the Iron Curtain put the region in an extreme peripheral position, cutting it off from the formerly neighboring Bohemia, Vogtland and Thuringia. The borders passed only a few kilometers from the town. For a cosmopolitan free spirit and big city dweller like Fritz, the place with its traditionally pronounced local pride was the most unsuitable cornerWhile he was for a short time prisoner of war, American officers and soldiers became aware of the portrait painter Wiegmann. In the Frankfurt City Archives are four reproductions and sixteen personal letters of thanks of American soldiers, often with home addresses. Wiegmann’s first home, three miles south of Hof, in Oberkotzau, is mentioned there. If we ask what Wiegmann lived on then, his contacts with the American garrison is certainly part of the answer.  (…….) >>

Afrika in Berlin – aktuelle Schlossführung durch GMZ (Gast)


GMZ betreibt die literarisch–fotografische Webseite “Geschmackstablette – Kunst und Karma” (LINK). (Warum gerade ‘Karma’? Vielleicht sollte ich ihn einfach ‘mal fragen.) Die Beiträge über Berlin und seine Eindrücke vom Besuch des Humboldtforum sollten nicht nur die Brüder Alexander und Wilhelm möglichst bald lesen!   Gv


(9) Duala Model Boats – Traded, stored, damaged, forgotten, rediscovered


Updates and additions January 8, 2022

1. Work report        2. Case study (Kraków, Poland)

One trendy keyword you may expect  in the headline is missing: „stolen“. And another keyword: „Saved“. >>

Duala-Model Boats … (8): African Art Collectors Owen D. Mort jr. (USA) and Alain Veyret (France)


Revised 26.9.2021 – Original in German:


On the trails of the twenty-seven model boats Leo Frobenius presented in 1897, my inquiries were well received throughout Europe and the USA. In the meantime I have come across the boat beak (‘tange’) of my boat – described in post (2/3) – on three more models. Two of them are now in museums, two with modern private collectors.

Post (7a) put us back in the year 1925 and we were able to follow a boat model from J.F.G. Umlauff Company in Hamburg to the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. We even met the legendary art collector Baron von der Heydt.

The other three canoe models have only reached Europe or America in the last two decades. There is some evidence that they were brought directly from Cameroon. My acquisition history was told in post (2/3).

Owen D. Mort Jr. and Alain Veyret deserve particular interest with their biographies, which are typical for many collectors. >>

Braucht Afrika noch Löwen oder Waldelefanten? (deutsch/englisch)


Das Muster des Naturschutzes in Zentralafrika scheitert gerade”  – Bericht von einer Expertentagung in Yaoundé/Kamerun, von Eric Njono Nana

The pattern of conservation in Central Africa is failing: an analysis of the current situation“Academia Letters, Article 3349 by Eric Njono Nana >>

E/F1.6 Cameroun, plumé par la France / Cameroon, managed by France


ORIGINAL : “DUALA” (6) : Kamerun – Vom Treuhänder in die Unterentwicklung geführt – DEUTSCH (24.5.2021)  (LINK)     + 2 acaps “Briefing notes:  21-january-20 and 29 june 2023


Admittedly, I have a hard time with the political chapters (5) and (6) of this blog. A broad topic that can hardly be seen through from the outside, and which can make you angry or depressed, depending on your point of view. What I, as a contemporary of the 20th century, had noticed from the colonialism of Europe – especially France – shows its ugly face again in the current long-term consequences. Hence the sarcastic headline.

Certes, j’ai du mal avec les chapitres politiques (5) et (6) de ce blog. Un sujet large que l’on ne voit guère de l’extérieur, et qui peut vous mettre en colère ou déprimé, selon votre point de vue. Ce que moi, en tant que contemporain du XXe siècle, avais remarqué du colonialisme de l’Europe – en particulier de la France – montre à nouveau sa grimace dans les conséquences actuelles à long terme. D’où le titre sarcastique. >>

«Douala»(F/E 5): «Étrangers africains» / “African Foreigners”


L’expression «étrangers africains», qui fait référence aux «Africains» en «Afrique», peut être irritante au début, mais elle décrit le sort d’un nombre infini de personnes en Afrique post-coloniale, pas seulement les réfugiés. Voyons comment les délimitations coloniales et postcoloniales, mais aussi les systèmes juridiques importés, ont créé de nouvelles injustices dans la région des deltas fluviaux communicants.

The phrase “African foreigners”, which refers to “Africans” in “Africa”, may be irritating at first, but it describes the plight of an endless number of people in post-colonial Africa, not just refugees. Let us see how colonial and postcolonial boundaries, but also imported legal systems, created new injustices in the region of the communicating river deltas.  >>

My Special Duala War Canoe Model – (E 1.2)+(1.3) Acquisition etc.


For wider distribution,  parts (2) and (3) of my first attempt a year ago are now available in English. I’m currently working on a sequel with additional sources and a slightly different perspective, but the earlier texts retain their introductory value.

v.Graeve February 26, 2021


‘Making History – African Collectors and the Canon…”) Review


German original: August 27, 2015 plus Supplement Sept. 03,2018  (LINK); revised translation November 13,2020

Some Nigerian entrepreneurs in Lagos collect works of art from African culturesDue to their geographic location, their collections do not have access to the international cartel of influential museums, auction houses and collectors. The art historian Sylvester O. Ogbechie presents the collection of Feti Akinsanya as representative.

Sylvester Okwonudu Ogbechie: ‘Making History – African Collectors and the Canon of African Art’: The Femi Akinsanya African Art Collection. (Five Continents 2011)


“From Russia With Doubt” (Russian Avantgarde) – Review


  German original LINK: 13. August 2015 | dvg     Translation: 13. November 2020


A friend has been collecting images of the Russian avant-garde and has been fighting for their recognition over years, which means the quest to authenticate would be masterpieces. That is the subtitle of an American museum publication (on the exhibition at MCA Denver 2010) that also could come to his aid as it happened to the two collectors Ron and Roger: >>

Popular paintings from the Congo on their way to the bin!


deutsch : June 19, 2020 | dvg (LINK)


When five tattered and dirty canvases appeared at the flea market last year, it was clearly their last stop. The trader didn‘t give up his inflated price; he preferred to use the scraps a few more times for decoration. Now the flea market is dead and the trader is being stuck in Africa. Will that be their end? >>

Chéri Samba rend hommage «aux anciens créateurs» et à Han Coray


      10 mai 2020 | 7 juin 2020  traduction: dvg                 version allemand: LIEN


Dans sa revue d’exposition de «Fiction Congo» au Rietberg, Maria Becker (NZZ, 29 janvier 2018) spécifiquement attire l’attention sur le numéro 1 dans le catalogue. Dans un texte manuscrit sur le carton, le peintre «folklorique» kinois Chéri Samba décrit sa rencontre avec des sculptures traditionnelles africaines dans les salles du Musée Ethnologique de l’Université de Zurich.


Douala (3) – Description et interprétation de la maquette


Version francaise du 6. juin 2020 –  version actuelle

LIEN > Part (2) et LIEN > Part (1) en francais.

Compétition héraldique:

Le drapeau commercial de l’Empire allemand avec une décoration allégorique sur le bec de bateau – et à la poupe le drapeau encore plus grand du Roi Akwa. Sous le parasol se trouve un dignitaire vêtu de blanc, un représentant de la maison de commerce Woermann? À quelle occasion? La décoration de la pirogue répond certainement au souhait du «roi» d’une forte représentation en concurrence avec l’Empire.

«Pirogue de Guerre des Douala au Cameroun» 1884 >>

Les Douala ont façonné l’histoire du Cameroun – version française (F 1.1)


21 avril – juin 2020  version allemande LIEN|  traduction de l’auteur 2 juin 2020

La raison de cette présentation de l’histoire est l’achat d’une maquette de bateau du Douala en novembre/décembre 2019 (LIEN 2, LIEN 3)          PRINTS: 92% = 15 PAGES


La compilation des textes est expérimentale. J’ai lu divers études et j’ai repris leurs perspectives. Plus je lis, plus il y a clairement des lacunes et des écarts entre les représentations. Des traductions étaient inévitables, parfois des traductions inversées aussi. Des images historiques ont beaucoup aidé mon imagination.  Vous pouvez les agrandir en cliquant dessus. Vous trouverez une bibliographie annotée à la fin de cette première contribution. >>

Marie-Alain Couturier (*1897) and the destroyed fetishes (1951)


May 25, 2016 |GERMAN (LINK) dvg

Brother Couturier regrets the role of the Catholic mission in the destruction of pre-colonial culture, but has more to say. >>

Delcommune vs. Boma – Storms vs. Lusinga (Tervuren, ARTE)


18 mai 2020  |  VERSION FRANCAISE  |  Version allemande > LINK


Hans Himmelheber im Kongo (Rietberg) – plus Version en francais


Upload   7.April, Version francaise (darunter angefügt)  2.Mai 2020

Was kann aus dieser zwiespältigen historischen Figur Himmelheber in einer durch “Kolonialismus”-Debatten bestimmten Zeit noch werden?

Die Frage bildete wohl den unausgesprochenen Hintergrund des Ausstellungsprojekts  „Fiktion Kongo – Kunstwelten zwischen Geschichte und Gegenwart“ im Museum Rietberg in Zürich von November 2019 bis März 2020 (Katalog CHF 49.-)


Tightly Wrapped Healer (‘LUBA?) on a ‘Soul Journey’


A provisional translation from German original (LINK), by DvG

object documentation (c dvg)

Origin ( LUBA?) and significance were unknown to the trader. Origin might be of minor relevance, he said.  But the person has a strong charisma, regardless of the feeding marks, so it’s a work of art! Care and abrasion over a long period of time let the undamaged parts of the surface shine discreetly. So it has been a cult object! >>

depot number EO. from Boma to Tervuren (Review)


September 7, 2018 | dvg   Original in German (Link)

For those who want to know the whole story, they have BMGN – Low Countries Historical Review, vol.133-2 (2018) pp. 79-90) in their June No. uploaded (LINK). Good to read, vivid, not too long      Translation has to be revised!  6.3.22


“The Whites hold our Spirits !”- Submission, Sorcery and Alienation


READER  of  three reports  which offer views from additional perspective. They demand and invite to further reflexion. Please, take your time with your own print-outs (9 pp. 97% PC) as I will do.

     Jan Vansina: Paths in the Rainforests (1990) chapter 8 (overview)  
     Pierre Petit: Power and Alienation among the Luba of Katanga (1996)
     Zoé S. Strother: Suspected in sorcery (1996)


Francfort sur Main. Brocante en 2019 – Illumination spontanée du Moine



Écrit le 12.2., rédigé le 8.3.2019  (2nd version d’un Allemand)   Original allemand :LINK


La pièce devant moi serait-il authentique? Incroyable.
Je ne comprends toujours pas le marché mondial. Comment les biens matériels peuvent-ils migrer si indétectables? La richesse, incroyablement concentrée dans notre région, les suce irrésistiblement.


MATALA: Beautiful Dancer of the Eighties (Mask, Pende)


NEW EDITION  07.03.2019  (First edited 31.12.2018) WITH DEBATE AND 4 PHOTOS BY MARVIN GOERTZ              Link to the German Version (since 28.12.18)

Preliminary Note

There is so much malnutrition in the Bandundu Province that people have not been dancing much since 1990” (Z.S.Strother, 2007) “Although the masking situation in the Bandundu was unhealthy in 2007, in 2017-18 there were a number of (large) mukanda camps in the Kasai” (Z.S.Strother, Jan. 2019)

Once upon a time …. The Pende liked dance performances like crazy. Social event! >>

Charles Ratton et la Question de «Provenance»


 Ma plus belle version francaise – Des citations en anglais en version originale!


An expressive Mbangu Mask, Central Pende


Translated from the German Original (Link)

 26cm high (visible 23) , 17.5 cm wide, 460g

26cm high (visible 23) , 17.5 cm wide, 460g – Click to enlarge the icons



The mask is sweepingly generalized, inside coarse, but functional, e.g. with its wide channel between the eye openings. My face fits in perfectly, the view slightly downward is good. The edges are slightly rounded and show some shine. Willy knows the wood from Pende masks,

The front of the mask shows no superfluous cut or smoothing. So the the area covered by the cap was treated only with the chisel. On the black right side, slight blade marks give additional dynamics to the surfaces.

From the beginning I associate the performance of an excited dancer who is set to play the role of the cursed but militant man. >>

Zwischen Stilleben und Landschaft – Taschenalbum 1932 (aktuell!)



Hochgeladen am 14.12.2016

English Translation and a wonderful painting dated 1932 and signed Wiegmann – like emerging out of the fog!  


Ein kleines Taschenalbum von 11 cm Breite und  6 cm Höhe, in rotes Kunstleder gebunden, enthält heute noch sechzehn fotografische Reproduktionen von Bildern Wiegmanns vom Beginn der dreißiger Jahre. Die kräftigen Hochglanzfotografien von 6 x 4 cm  bis 8 x  5 1/2 cm  sind auf hellgraues oder grünes Papier geklebt, passend für die Zellophan-Taschen. Wir blicken auf sie wie aus großer Entfernung. Sie wirken in ihren kräftigen Schwärzen wie Miniaturen. Man ahnt mehr als man sieht. Details gehen unter, aber das scheint den Benutzer nicht zu stören. Die Bilder sind einfach da. Ikonen. War dies ein Album für die Westentasche, für das Reisegepäck zur eigenen Rückversicherung oder als künstlerische Visitenkarte für unvorhergesehene Gelegenheiten? >>

Social Defense in Northern Ivory Coast 1990 – 2011 (Blog version)


I published a Short Report of the Study in my Blog (in German)   Here is an English Translation in a provisional version!   21.5.2018  v.Graeve  (Revised 6.8.2018)

Politique africaine no.148 – décembre 2017, p.109-129

The term ‘social defense’  may be not as common today as it was in the seventies and eighties (Link: Wikipedia), but it fits to the features of the crisis and activities described in the essay. 
The title of Till Förster’s dossier says freely translated: “Peace in a War Zone. The Ivorian crisis viewed from below and over a long period”. The focus lies on ‚Islands of peace’ in the area around Korhogo and Boundiali on the Ivory Coast. The author has done extensive fieldwork ever since 1979 to the present. >>




  • LIEN au texte originale (allemand)

25 janvier 2017|dvg – version encore provisoire le 10 juillet 2022

Keller mit Schrein-IMG_2242Le groupe de figures Yombe a initié, il y a un an, le “Projet Congo” sur ce page Web mais il n’est y pas arrivé ici jusqu’à ce jour.

Je commence par les descriptions de la femme et du chien pour faire regarder les deux de plus près. Je présente des lieux où on trouvent tels groupes de figures, et je vais finir avec quelques réflexions sur la figure mâle.


Rider on leopard – from the Mbala, neighbors of the Yaka


Published: 17 february 2017                         Original version  22 january 2017

A delicate double figure of a land chief, 32 cm high. Dark patina shining red on the edges, dense wood. Condition: Good. It was part of a family treasure. I cannot say how old, as Mobutu since 1965 has modernized and solidified the rights of those who traditionally possessed the ground. A remarkable resistance to the German climate points to an earlier date of making. >>

The power of the Nkishi in the leather skirt (Milembwe – Songye)


published 17 february 2017

Original version 22 november 2016  

The attached picture numbers ( no ) refer to the monograph by Francois Neyt : La redoutable Statuaire Songye d’Afrique Centrale, Fonds Mercator, Antwerp (5 continents) 2004.



Mayombe – Paradies mit kleinen Mängeln (1912) (deutsch/englisch)


Touring C


(Vergrößern durch Anklicken!)
 Upload 13. April 2016


Ich suchte nach Karten des Mayumbe-Gebiets, alten und neuen. Die schönste fand sich im Panorama du Congo – Édité par le Touring Club de Belgique, Bruxelles (o.J., um 1912). >>

C. Einstein ‘Negro sculpture’ – Revisited with Z.S. Strother



 Link to the original text “ Wieder zu ‚Negerplastik‘ …”