Tippo-Tip, 1837-1905

Silver gelatin print photograph of Mohammad bin Hamed, or Tippu Tip (circa 1830-1905). He was born in Zanzibar and became involved in the lucrative caravan trade in eastern and central Africa. In the 1870s and 1880s, Tippu Tip was the most powerful figure in what is now eastern Zaire, having some 50,000 guns at his command. He accrued enormous wealth from slave trading and ivory dealing to clients such as the Sultan of Zanzibar, to whom he remained fiercely loyal, and Henry Morton Stanley. Despite his efforts, he was unable to maintain his position around Lake Tanganyika in the face of the European partition and conquest of the region. In the late 1880s, he was briefly appointed governor of Stanley Falls by King Leopold II of the Belgians (1835-1909), whose imperial and commercial activities came to dominate the Congo Basin. Tippu Tip eventually retired to in Zanzibar and wrote his autobiography, which became a classic of Swahili literature.

Object Details

ID: ZBA2600
Collection: Historic Photographs; Special collections
Type: Print
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Dias, E. C.
Date made: circa 1890
People: Dias, E. C.
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Michael Graham-Stewart Slavery Collection. Acquired with the assistance of the Heritage Lottery Fund
Measurements: 200 x 152 mm
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