By: James Thiriar
Date of Original: 1950 (circa) Brussels, Belgium
Original Size: 40.5 x 29.5 inches (103 x 75 cm)
This is fine print reproduction of an incredible, mid-century pictorial map / poster by James Thiriar detailing the native tribes of the Congo. The map was issued by the information and documentation center of Belgian Congo and Rwanda-Urundi sometime around 1950.
The map features over 33 indigenous tribes within 10 regions as well as elements of their culture including ceremonial masks, instruments, hair styles, headdresses, music, and other traditions. The overall image is alive with such detail as it surrounds and fills the map of the Congo in the center of the poster.
James Thiriar (1989 - 1965) was a Belgium born WWI veteran and illustrator known in his early days for his many drawings of the daily life of soldiers at the front, published by The Illustrated London. In 1932, he participated in the Belgian Ruwenzori exploration mission where he painted watercolors and gouaches illustrating the vegetation of the Congo and Sudan and wrote a document on the fauna and flora of this region. In 1942 , he drew 232 illustrations included in the three volumes of the Congolese sketches of General Fernand Gendarme (Belgian Crown Force)