Review of Reviews,  8 (1893), 369–81.

Character Sketch. Lobengula, The King of the Matabele



Regular Feature, Biography

Relevant illustrations:

photo. [3]


Race, Anthropology, Ethnography, Photography, Soul, Imperialism, Supernaturalism, Technology

    Suggests that with the details of 'savage' peoples given in 'South African Blue Books' it is 'as if we had the seventh century suddenly resuscitated in order that it might be photographed by the camera of the nineteenth century' (369). Explains, however, that the photograph of King Lobengula Khumalo reproduced on the frontispiece of the article is a 'coveted negative [....] brought from Matabeleland by a recent traveller, who [...] preserves a prudent silence as to how he got it' because Lobengula usually refuses to be photographed claiming to believe 'that part of his soul [would] be taken away with the picture' (370). Also reports how some inhabitants of Matabeleland were 'completely bowled [...] over' by the telephone shown to them by English missionaries, believing that 'a machine which could talk [...] even when those who talked were a mile from each other' must be made by 'witchcraft' (377).

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