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Royal Commonwealth Society : Kongoni camp: fourteenth encampment; three zariba round huts

Allen, Annie Emma (1853-1942)

Royal Commonwealth Society

<p style='text-align: justify;'>In 1900 Annie Emma Allen (1853-1942) travelled to Uganda where she began her career as an honorary missionary with the Church Missionary Society. Allen documented her long and arduous journey by steamer, rail, bicycle, foot and sail in an album containing 66 atmospheric watercolours. They provide vivid impressions of the people and places she encountered. 1-8 portray the outward trip to Port Said; 9-19 show Sinai, the Red Sea and Aden; 20-25 were painted in Mombasa and Freretown; and 26-66 illustrate the trip to Lake Victoria. Allen would serve as a CMS missionary in Uganda for the next 25 years, teaching and working in hospitals and dispensaries, before retiring in 1926, at the age of 73.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'> Zariba were thorny wooden barriers offering protection from lions and other predators. Allen’s painting becomes even more remarkable considering it was often done hurriedly in the morning before striking camp or at the end of an exhausting day of travel and in failing light. Several of the watercolours bear the despairing captions, ‘Too dark to finish. Imagine beautiful scenery’ and ‘Quite lovely scenery, but so little time to draw.’</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>See Janus record <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>here</a></p>

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