Indian Ocean Portraits

Some early experiments with photography in the western Indian Ocean came through avid patronage by the economic elite of the mercantile and plantation economies. Given regional dependence on imported labor, it is no surprise that by the 1860s companies and governments used photography to document the faces of transported people.

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Hamilton, 21 years old, son of Cajunillah. Liberated at Port Victoria on the 15 January 1872 (steamer Africa captured by the H.M. Ship Columbine). Registered under no. 215 on the 20 January 1872. Assigned to Road Department
Photographer unknown
Albumen print
Port Victoria, Seychelles 1871

Gallway, 9 years old, son of Dinacanimba. Liberated at Port Victoria on the 7 October 1871 (H.M. Ship Columbine). Registered under no. 71 on the 13 October 1871. Assigned to Delorier
Photographer unknown
Albumen print
Port Victoria, Seychelles 1871

Nora, 24 years old, daughter of Cotumbony. Liberated at Port Victoria on the 7 October 1871 (H.M. Ship Columbine). Registered under no. 156 on the 13 October 1871. Assigned to Brooks
Photographer unknown
Albumen print
Port Victoria, Seychelles 1871

Gandor, 18 years old, son of Aoliath. Liberated at Port Victoria on the 7 October 1871 (H.M. Ship Columbine). Registered under no. 87 on the 13 October 1871.
Assigned to V. Morin

Photographer unknown
Albumen print
Port Victoria, Seychelles 1871

Sally, 8 years old, daughter of Thamagowador. Liberated at Port Victoria on the 7 October 1871 (H.M. Ship Columbine). Registered under no. 179 on the 13 October 1871. Assigned to Gardette
Photographer unknown
Albumen print
Port Victoria, Seychelles 1871

Sophie Dadda, 17 years old , daughter of Chowbiala. Liberated at Port Victoria on the 7 October 1871 (H.M. Ship Columbine). Registered under no. 177 on the 13 October 1871. Assigned to Road Camp
Photographer unknown
Albumen print
Port Victoria, Seychelles 1871

Emanuel, 11 years old, son of Sungol. Liberated at Port Victoria on the 7 October 1871 (H.M. Ship Columbine). Registered under no. 59 on the 13 October 1871.
Assigned to V. Morin

Photographer unknown
Albumen print
Port Victoria, Seychelles 1871

Percey, 20 years old, daughter of Archerangela. Liberated at Port Victoria on the 7 October 1871 (H.M. Ship Columbine). Registered under no. 165 on the 13 October 1871. Assigned to Road Camp
Photographer unknown
Albumen print
Port Victoria, Seychelles 1871

Arrose, 18 years old, Galla (Oromo), daughter of Goyaccove (?). Landing date missing (H.M. Ship Nymphe, 12 December 1868 ?). Registered under no. 369 on the 3 May 1869. Married to Malbrook n° 362 at Road Camp
Photographer unknown
Albumen print
Port Victoria, Seychelles 1871

Antoinette Colloh, 22 years old , daughter of (Amerah) Colloh. Liberated at Port Victoria on the 7 October 1871 (H.M. Ship Columbine). Registered under no. 98 at Port Victoria on the 13 October 1871.
Assigned to Road Department

Photographer unknown
Albumen print
Port Victoria, Seychelles 1871

All images courtesy the National Archives of the Seychelles, Archives départementales de La Réunion, and L'Iconothèque Historique de l'Océan Indien (www.ihoi.org). These images come from Official Correspondence of the British administration of the Seychelles 1811-1872. Fonds d'archives, Classe B; Correspondance officielle de l'administration britannique des Seychelles, 1811-1872.