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Mountains of the moon

Identifier: Film Collection no. 229

Scope and Contents

Filmed during the AMNH Ruwenzori-Kivu Expedition, 1926. This film is of the AMNH Ruwenzori-Kivu Expedition to Central Africa, Uganda, and Zaire, the purpose of which was to collect birds and small animals and record the regions visited. The expedition staff consisted of James Paul Chapin, leader and museum ornithologist, DeWitt L. Sage, photographer, and Frank Matthews, ornithologist. The Bambuti pygmies are depicted through group portraits only. Many hippopotomuses are pictured in the river and the carcass of one is seen being hauled out of the river by a group of natives. There is a dance performed by a tribe that is not identified, perhaps the Wandade: Chapin writes of an association with them. The principal content of this film is the footage taken at various campsites on the mountain. At the campsite at the base of the Ruwenzori range, at 7,000 feet, a pole and thatched house is constructed, which is named "Mud Villa." As the expedition proceeded toward the summit of Mount Ruwenzori, varying belts of vegetation were traversed: wild bananas in the mountain forest, at 7,000 feet; bamboo forests at 8,600 feet; and moss covered heath trees, surrounded by thick blankets of moss, at 12,200 feet. At 14,000 feet, continuing a tradition set by their predecessors, the staff put their names in a bottle, corked it and left it there for the next explorers. Lobelia plants are seen. Finally, the heavy mists lift and the peak of Alexandria, at 16,700 feet, is seen. This film is incomplete. The beginning is missing and there is no way to determine how much of the picture is lost.


  • 1926

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Not available through interlibrary loan. Contact AMNH Library Special Collections for terms of access.


1 Film Reel (13 minutes) : silent, black and white ; 35 mm.

1 Videocassette (U-Matic (13 minutes)) : silent, black and white ; 3/4 in.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

3/4 in., U-Matic, viewing copy


Original format: 35 mm. negative; incomplete.



DeWitt L. Sage, photographer.

Mountains of the moon, 1926
Iris Lee
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Museum Archives at the Gottesman Research Library Repository

American Museum of Natural History
200 Central Park West
New York NY 10024 USA
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