These women and their female descendants, known locally as the Signares, are an important part of Saint-Louis’ culture and history.
The metis population benefited from their connection with the French, which conferred civil status, education opportunities, gold, real estate, and slaves.
The striking collection, mostly dating from 1930 to 1950, highlights the country’s rich and deep photography tradition.
Many of the most well-known photographs from West Africa were captured by Malick Sidibe, an internationally renowned photographer from Mali who captured iconic black and white images of the region in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. But the history of photography in West Africa stretches further back.
Saint-Louis, Senegal There has been increasing interest to unearth and understand Africa’s photographic history in recent years.