A. Vandenkerckhove

A. Vandenkerckhove was an indigenous Senegalese soldier working for the French colonial army in Senegal. He was part of an all-African unit known as the ‘Tirailleurs seneglais’ (Senegalese Skirmishers) that was charged with the survey work and compilation of regional maps for the French colonial government. As such, he stands as one of the earliest known African cartographers.

Vandenkerckhove is essentially a Dutch name, and it is unclear why a Senegalese soldier under French rule would have such a name. He is not to be confused with the Belgian writer and mystic Auguste Vandekerkhove, who lived at roughly the same time.

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