Art and Death in Southern Côte d’Ivoire

by Robert Soppelsa
US State Department / Art in Embassies (formerly Washburn University)

King Amon Ndufu IV, Anyi peoples, Côte d’Ivoire, 1988. Photo by Robert Soppelsa.

This photograph was made in the town of Krinjabo, capital of the southern Anyi kingdom (Anyi Sanwi) in 1988. The king is seated at the center of the group, his feet on a leather stool dressed in kente, wearing a great deal of gold and gold-plated jewelry. He is flanked by his spokesman, by other important members of his court, and by retainers (standing at rear). Today’s Akan royalty pose for photographs much as their ancestors did (the king, Amon Ndufu IV, is a matrilineal descendant of Amon Ndufu II). Important persons sit at the center of the group, flanked by lesser personages, with the least important standing and at the periphery of the group.