Noir #211

Angèle Etoundi Essamba, Cameroonian, born 1962



Gelatin silver print

Edition 9/20

Image: 18 7/8 × 13 1/2 in. (48 × 34.3 cm)

Sheet: 19 15/16 × 16 1/8 in. (50.7 × 40.9 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Purchased through the Alvin and Mary Bert Gutman 1940 Acquisition Fund



Place Made: Cameroon, Central Africa, Africa


21st century

Object Name


Research Area



Not on view


Signed, in ink, lower right: Angele Etoundi Essamba 2000; numbered, in ink, lower left: # 9/20; signed and signed, on reverse, in graphite, lower right: c [encircled] Angele Etoudi / Essamba / Noirs 4, 2000 / GSP. # 9/20


The contrast in this image of a pregnant stomach parallels Essamba’s experience as a Black woman living in a white world. Its shape is inspired by the shape of a calabash, which has a similar life-holding and life-giving purpose to wombs. Calabashes can be dried out and utilized as containers or consumed for sustenance. The abstracted womb mirrors the shape of the Odundo sculpture beside it; both symbolize maternity, fertility, and the aesthetics of Black women’s embodiment.

From the 2023 exhibition Homecoming: Domesticity and Kinship in Global African Art, curated by Alexandra Thomas, Curatorial Research Associate

Course History

ANTH 50.17, Rites of Passage, Sienna Craig, Spring 2020

First Year Student Enrichment Program – Cultures, Identities and Belongings, Colleen Lannon, Summer 2023

First Year Student Enrichment Program - Cultures, Identities and Belongings, Mokhtar Bouba, Summer 2023

Philosophy 1.11, Art: True, Beautiful, Nasty, John Kulvicki, Summer 2023

Writing 2.05, Why Write, Anyway?, Erkki Mackey, Fall 2023

Writing 5.24, Photographic Representations, Amanda Wetsel, Fall 2023

Writing 5.25, Photographic Representations, Amanda Wetsel, Fall 2023

Exhibition History

Homecoming: Domesticity and Kinship in Global African Art, Harteveldt Family Gallery, Owen Robertson Cheatham Gallery, and Northeast Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth, Hanover, New Hampshire, July 22, 2023–May 25, 2024.

Looking Backward, Moving Forward: Women Photographers at the Hood Museum of Art, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, June 12-September 19, 2004.

Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem, The Netherlands, 8 September-11 November 2001.

Publication History

Noirs: Angele Etoundi Essamba, 2001. Arnhem: Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem.

Barbara Thompson, "The African Collection at the Hood Museum of Art," African Arts, Volume XXXVII, No. 2, Los Angeles: African Studies Center, University of California, 2004, ill. p. 32.


Skoto Gallery, New York, New York; sold to present collection, 2003.

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