Bushiri bin Salim Al Harthi the leader of the Arab revolt against the Germans 1888 Rare photos probably taken by the missionary Etienne Baur

Bushiri bin Salim Al Harthi leader of Arab revolt

Three very rare original photos of Bushiri bin Salim Al Harthi the leader of the Arab revolt against the Germans taken 1888.

The second photo (blue) was according to Ref 2 (volume 1 after page 130) taken by Father Etienne Baur on march 20 1889 in Bushiri┬┤s camp in Nzole. The photo has the same strange overlays / disturbances  as ours. This is probably a rare (blue) Cyanotype photo print. Etienne Baur was head of the congregation of the Holy Ghost-Fathers in Bagamoyo.

It is very well possible that all three photos were taken by Etienne Baur as Bushiri was more or less a friend. Baur played a key role in The negotiations between the Germans and the revolting Arabs. For many details see ref 2.

Antique photo Bushiri

                           Antique photo of Bushiri, the leader of the Araberaufstand
Etienne Baur photo of Bushiri
Buschiri leader of the Araberaufstand: Photographed by the French missionary  P. Etienne Baur on March 20 1889 in Buschiri's camp in Nzole. Etienne Baur tried to stay neutral between Bushiri and the Germans (in the interest of the local population) Bushiri trusted him.
Antique photo Bushiri Araberaufstand
Bushiri leader of the Araber aufstand

Details of the Arab revolt against the Germans

Very rare and important photos. The revolt was led by Bushiri and by Bwana Heri. The slide-show contains three fine photos. One blue photo has been printed in a special technique named. Original photo. In 1888 the Omani / Zanzibari Arabs and some African tribes (Yao) in East Afrika started a revolt against the Germans and the Sultan of Zanzibar who were taking over control of East Africa.  The livelihood of these Arabs and African tribes was threatened by the Germans taking control of the country, they were typically ivory and slave traders and owners of plantations with slaves.  They also revolted against the Sultan as he was seen as a puppet of the British.

The revolt started with some hostages being taken by the revolting Arabs in. Father Etienne Baur was head of the French mission, and had been living peacefully for 20 years with Arabs and other local tribes. As France did not play a role in the conflict and because Etienne Baur was trusted by all parties he played a key role in the negotiations for the release of the hostages. Not insignificantly he came form the Elzas and spoke therefore fluently French and German. He also spoke fluently Arabic and Swahili. After the release of the hostages the war intensified in particular by the attitude of  von Wissman.

The German army led by  Hermann von Wissmann put down the revolt. Bushiri was arrested and hanged in 1889 (see next photos) Ironically the Germans stopped slavery but at the same time they took large numbers of Africans prisoner and turned them into forced labor, often shackled with the same chains previously used by the Arabs for slaves. So slavery effectively becomes forced labor (just a different name) ! Also the Germans do not involve the Africans in any way in the development of the country and they were without any rights.

Origin: Taken in East Afrika
  1. Slavernij en bevrijding in Oost-Afrika in de 19e eeuw, Afrika Museum, Berg en Dal 2003 page 123 (incl background to the events and other photo of Bushiri)
  2. HGM Tullemans Pere Etienne Baur en d Arabische opstand van 1888-1889 Promotion Thesis 1982 2 volumes University of Nijmegen
  3. Handboek Herkennen fotografische en fotomechanische procedes. Historische en moderne procedes en digitale afdruk technieken. Jan van Dijk. Primavera Pers Leiden 2011 page 194 describes the Cyanotype photographic printing process.