Winters Photographs of Liberia, 1953
The following is a description of photographs taken in Liberia, February and March 1953. The photographs were sent to Mr. Robert Winters, along with an audiotape, probably by Charles R. Lockard. (1)
Most descriptions come from the audiotape; descriptions in brackets were written on the photographs themselves. Picture No. 23 is missing. Following the list is a full transcript of the audiotape.
21The St. Paul's river.
|1||Aerial view of mangrove swamps along the coast.|
|2||Further inland, looking off into the highlands; rainforest and modern types of cultivation.|
|4||Inland, showing a progressive clearing operation in the low bush and high bush.|
|5||Cultivation of the savannah.|
|6-9||Agricultural operations showing degrees of clearing.|
|10||The road to Ganta.|
|11||A trail through the high bush in the Gio area.|
|12||A red ironwood tree, or lophira alata, in high bush.|
|15||Unknown species of tree in the high bush.|
|16||[Buttress formation of tree.]|
|18||Unknown species of tree.|
|19||A canarium with vines covering it.|
|20||A jungle area of high, large trees and small trees and vines.|
|26-59||Various portraits of native people.|
|47||[Native women bearers.]|
|53||[Village welcoming committee.]|
|57||[Dinner for a ceremony.]|
|58||[Trader from Guinea, with cola nuts in his basket.]|
|59||[Traders from Guinea.]|
|60||A pineapple plantation.|
|64||Making lye from ashes.|
|65||Inspecting hands of monkey meat, a part of the native people's staple diet.|
|66-67||Arrow (?) boys eating their evening meal of monkey meat and boiled rice.|
|69-72||Spinning native cotton into thread.|
|73-76||Weaving cotton thread into country cloth.|
|77-78||Shoemakers making sandals from rubber tires.|
|79-80||A village tailor.|
|81||A farmer engaged in a land-clearing operation.|
|82||A matt-maker wearing a band on his right arm; it signifies he belongs to a certain society.|
|83||An apprentice printer at a mission.|
|84||An apprentice woodworker.|
|85||A basket weaver.|
|86-91||Threshing, winnowing, and selling cups of native rice.|
|92-94||Preparing a meal from a common tuber.|
|95||Fishermen from Nigeria.|
|96||The catch that they sold into market.|
|97||A marketplace in Monrovia.|
|98||A country store.|
|101||A peanut vendor.|
|102-108||Shots around inland villages showing the conical roofs common in this area.|
|116-117||Buildings in the coastal area.|
|119||[A farm hut.]|
|120-129||Scenes around the Monrovia area.|
|121||[Water Street, Monrovia.]|
|130||A Methodist church in Monrovia.|
|131||The Department of Agriculture.|
|132||The local guard on parade in Monrovia.|
|133||The executive mansion.|
|134-135||District commissioner's headquarters.|
|142||A sergeant [corporal] in the National Guard.|
|143||A private in the National Guard.|
|144||A village official offering a "dash" egg to an escort.|
|145||A village elder.|
|146||A Muhammadan priest.|
|147||An assistant Muhammadan priest.|
|148||A Coptic corner preacher.|
|149||The wall and open-air courthouse of the Gio chieftain.|
|150||The "paramount" chief [P.C. Weh-Pah-Paye].|
|151||A village court.|
|152||The lawyer, left, and the defendant, right, in a legal case; the defendant holds a handle hanging from the ceiling during his time on the stand.|
|153-162||A village dance starting with a loud bang from flintlock muskets; the dance is to support youngsters who have just been taken to a nearby bush school for three or four years of training.|
|153||[Flintlock starting dance.]|
|164||[Young rubber plantation.]|
|165||[Old rubber plantation.]|
|167||[Firestone experimental teak plantation.]|
|168||[Eucalyptus plantation- Firestone.]|
The following is a transcription of the cassette tape found with the box of photographs from Liberia. The speaker is probably Charles R. Lockard. Above is a more detailed list of the photographs, using information contained in this transcript and information written on the actual prints.
This is to Mr. Robert Winters. Subject is Liberian photographs. Dear Bob, under separate cover I am sending you 168 8x10 prints of photographs taken in Liberia in 19..., in March and April, pardon me, in February and March 1953. They were all taken within a 300 mile radius of Monrovia. The prints are not the best in the world. They are what I would call working prints, the first prints taken off the negatives. And, undoubtedly, can be improved by expert printers. I also enclose a packet of negatives which I believe will cover most of these prints. My descriptions may be a little sketchy and perhaps hazy, but maybe you can make out what goes on. Some of the, some of them I have described ... for some of them I have described as a group. Others where the numbers are missing in the tape, I have written a few words of description on the back which will serve to identify them. So here we go.
Number 1: the air view of the mangrove swamps along the coast.
Number 2 is a little further inland, looking off into the highlands, this would be the rainforest type except that you see some modern type of cultivation.
Number 3 is inland and shows a progressive clearing operation of practically clear land, low bush and high bush.
Sorry, got off to the wrong start. One and two are the swamps, three is the, a coastal uplands, and four is the clearing.
5 is the savannah type; 6 is, 6, 7, 8, 9 are agricultural operations showing the degree of clearing that is--was commonly found. Nine also.
10 is on the road to Ganta, g-a-n-t-a, as it was then.
11 is a trail through the high bush in the Gio area.
12: a red ironwood, or lophira, l-o-p-h-i-r-a, alata, a-l-a-t-a, in high bush.
13 is I think Piptodenia.
14 is, 14 is Piptodenia.
15 is unknown species, at least unknown to me, the high bush.
16 is labeled.
18: an unknown species to me.
19 is probably a canarium showing the vines that are common in the area.
20 is a picture of a jungle, a real jungle area of high trees--large trees and small trees and vines.
21 is the St. Paul's river.
22: termite mounds.
15 and 16 are Muhammadan girls-- whoop, I may have got mixed up again. Let's go back to 21 is the St. Paul's river. 22 is termite mound.
23 seems to be missing, but 24 and 25 are Muhammadan girls.
26 through 59 inclusive are pictures of various kinds of people, the kind we're trying to help.
60 and 61 are a--is a pineapple plantation and a pineapple.
63: fried grasshoppers, french-fried.
64 is making lye from ashes.
65 is inspecting hands, h-a-n-d-s, of monkey meat--staple diet.
66 and 67 are arrow (?) boys eating their evening meal of monkey meat and boiled rice by hand.
68 is bananas.
68, 72 inclusive: spinning native cotton into thread.
73 to 76 inclusive are weaving cotton thread into country cloth.
77 and 78: shoemakers making rubber, making sandals from rubber tires.
79, 80: village tailor.
81: farmer engaged in land-clearing operation.
82: a matt-maker. Notice the band on his right arm which it signifies it belongs to a certain society.
83: apprentice printer at a missionary, at a mission.
84: apprentice woodworker.
85: basket weaver.
86 through 91: threshing winnowing and selling cups of native rice.
92, 93, 94: preparing a meal from common tuber. The name escapes me at this moment. It's a common name which you probably will know.
95: fishermen from Nigeria.
96: their catch they sold into market.
97: marketplace in Monrovia.
98: a country store.
99, 100: roadside stores.
101: peanut vendor.
102 to 108 inclusive, are shots around villages inland showing the conical roofs used to, in this area.
109 is a little religious propaganda.
110, eleven, twelve: a building, residences.
113, 114, and 115: another type of building; note the decorations.
Buildings are, pardon me-- 116 and 117, buildings in the coastal area of a different type.
118, 119 are what are known as "half-the-latches."(?)
120 to 129 inclusive, buildings and scenes around the Monrovia area.
130, I think is a Methodist church in Monrovia.
131 is the Department of Agriculture.
132 is the local guard on parade in Monrovia.
Next, 133: the executive mansion.
134 is the--one district commissioner's headquarters upcountry.
Uh, 135 is another one.
136 to 141 inclusive are village chiefs in their country cloth clothing.
142: a sergeant in the National Guard.
Number 143 is a private in the National Guard. Maybe it's called Provincial Guard, I don't know.
144 is a village official offering a quote "dash" egg, of an egg, to our escort.
145: a village elder.
146 is a Muhammadan priest.
147 is an assistant Muhammadan priest.
148: Coptic [tape warped] preacher.
149 is the wall and the open-air courthouse of the amalgamated Gio chieftain.
Number 150 is the paramount chief and in the background of the preceding picture.
151 is a village court.
152 is the lawyer, left, and the defendant, right, in the, a case. Note that the defendant holds on to a handle the whole time he is on the stand.
153, 162 inclusive is a village dance starting with--starting with a loud bang from flintlock muskets. The dance is to console or support youngsters who have just been taken to a nearby bush school for a long period of training, maybe three or four years.
163 to 166 [tape ends]
1. Dr. Robert K. Winters served more than 42 years in the USDA Forest Service, including 12 years in international work. See his monograph, International Forestry in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1980, a copy of which is in the USDA History Collection, Series II, Class File, file "Winters, Robert K. 1980."
An envelope found with the photographs and the audiotape was stamped with the name "C. R. Lockard ... Clearwater, Florida." Charles Lockard is listed in Winters' report as a Forestry Advisory on a mission to Liberia in 1953. See "Appendix B--USDA Specialists in Forestry and Related Fields."