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Fort Johnston, Lake Nyasa, Nyasaland, Africa now Malawi

Fort Johnston, Lake Nyasa, Nyasaland, Africa now Malawi

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Fort Johnston, Lake Nyasa, Nyasaland, Africa now Malawi

Ivory to be sent to London, Victorian period. The location is Fort Johnston, Lake Nyasa, Nyasaland, Africa now Malawi

Mary Evans Picture Library makes available wonderful images created for people to enjoy over the centuries

Media ID 32365964

© The Keasbury-Gordon Photograph Archive / Mary Evans

Corporation Fort Ivory Johnston Lakes Malawi Nyasa Nyasaland


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Fort Johnston, Lake Nyasa, Nyasaland, Africa (now Malawi), late Victorian period. This evocative photograph captures the grandeur and mystery of Fort Johnston, a British military outpost and administrative center, nestled on the shores of the serene Lake Nyasa in Nyasaland, Africa (now Malawi). The fort, built in the late 1890s, served as a strategic base for the British South Africa Company's rule over the region during the height of the African ivory trade. The image, taken during the Edwardian era, reveals the imposing stone structures of the fort, with its red-tiled roofs and tall, arched windows, standing proud against the backdrop of the tranquil lake. The fort's commanding presence is further accentuated by the lush, green vegetation surrounding it, providing a stark contrast to the rugged, rocky terrain of the shoreline. The ivory trade, which played a significant role in the colonization of Africa, is hinted at by the presence of several porters, who can be seen in the foreground, carrying large, ornate ivory tusks on their heads. The porters, dressed in colorful, traditional African garb, add a sense of authenticity to the scene, highlighting the rich cultural diversity of the region. Despite the fort's imposing appearance, there is a sense of tranquility and stillness in the photograph, with the calm waters of Lake Nyasa reflecting the clear, blue sky above. The image offers a glimpse into a bygone era, a time when the world was connected through the global trade of valuable commodities, and the British Empire held sway over vast swathes of Africa.

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