In 1947, 70 years ago, the public discovered one of the first sound recordings of Pygmy music collected in Equatorial Africa by the French ethnomusicologist Gilbert Rouget.
These were recorded during the Ogooué-Congo Mission, a scientific expedition led by the 23-year old French ethnologist Noël Ballif. This mission was the first organised by the Liotard group, a collective of young French explorers from Paris’ Musée de l’Homme.
From July to December 1946, the 12 members of the expedition travelled across the former Middle Congo (the current Republic of the Congo) and Gabon. They spent six weeks completely immersed in Babinga Pygmies tribes from the Haute Sangha region, in the North of Moyen Congo - an experience that turned out to be decisive for some of them.
Whether they are sound recordings, photographs, films, artifacts or scientific studies, the documents collected and produced during and after the Ogooué-Congo Mission allow us to discover their adventure.
This virtual exhibition is proposed in the framework of Europeana Sounds and conceived thanks to ethnomusicology archives kept at the Musée de l'Homme and curated by the Center for Research in Ethnomusicology (LESC-CREM). These archives were digitized in the framewok of the project "Sources of ethnomusicology" developed within the Pasts in the Present cluster.
Conception : Aude Julien Da Cruz Lima, Thomas Henry (Ceints de bakélite), Joséphine Simonnot.
Texts & research : Thomas Henry (Ceints de bakélite)