You are here -allRefer - Reference - Country Study & Country Guide - Zaire >

allRefer Reference and Encyclopedia Resource

allRefer    
allRefer
   


-- Country Study & Guide --     

 

Zaire

 
Country Guide
Afghanistan
Albania
Algeria
Angola
Armenia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Bahrain
Bangladesh
Belarus
Belize
Bhutan
Bolivia
Brazil
Bulgaria
Cambodia
Chad
Chile
China
Colombia
Caribbean Islands
Comoros
Cyprus
Czechoslovakia
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
Egypt
El Salvador
Estonia
Ethiopia
Finland
Georgia
Germany
Germany (East)
Ghana
Guyana
Haiti
Honduras
Hungary
India
Indonesia
Iran
Iraq
Israel
Cote d'Ivoire
Japan
Jordan
Kazakhstan
Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan
Latvia
Laos
Lebanon
Libya
Lithuania
Macau
Madagascar
Maldives
Mauritania
Mauritius
Mexico
Moldova
Mongolia
Nepal
Nicaragua
Nigeria
North Korea
Oman
Pakistan
Panama
Paraguay
Peru
Philippines
Poland
Portugal
Qatar
Romania
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Seychelles
Singapore
Somalia
South Africa
South Korea
Soviet Union [USSR]
Spain
Sri Lanka
Sudan
Syria
Tajikistan
Thailand
Turkmenistan
Turkey
Uganda
United Arab Emirates
Uruguay
Uzbekistan
Venezuela
Vietnam
Yugoslavia
Zaire

Zaire

The Kongo Peoples

The Kongo have long occupied all of Bas-Zare Region. Most but not all of these peoples, together with substantial numbers in Angola and smaller numbers in Congo, were originally inhabitants of the kingdom of the Kongo encountered by the Portuguese in the late fifteenth century. For all practical purposes, that kingdom had disintegrated into a number of small chiefdoms by the early seventeenth century. The end of the kingdom's political power did not preclude the continuing spread of Kongo influence, however, and some groups may have become Kongo in culture later.

Given the size of the population and the territorial range of the Kongo, much dialectical variation in their language has developed, to the point that some dialects are barely mutually intelligible. There are similar variations in other aspects of culture. From the seventeenth century until the arrival of the Belgians, there were shifting combinations of smaller chiefdoms into larger entities under the domination of one or another chief, the power of a dominant chief often reflecting his easier access to or more effective exploitation of the slave and ivory trade of the period. The hierarchies thus established were usually ephemeral. In the end, the effective units were the clans, their larger constituent units called by anthropologist Wyatt MacGaffey houses (the units controlling land), and lineages, rather shallow units. All of these units were based on matrilineal descent. Although each unit had a head, authority was shared with persons both inside and outside the unit in a complex fashion.

Because of their early contact with Europeans, the Kongo were among the groups early and heavily influenced by Roman Catholic and Protestant missionaries and by the schools established by them. The Roman Catholics placed particular emphasis on the traditions of the Kongo as they understood them and in turn communicated these reconstructed traditions to their students. The complex interaction of myth, competition, and the ambition of some leaders of Kongo origin as the prospect of independence loomed made the Kongo the largest single group to define themselves in ethnic terms for political purposes in the late 1950s and one of the few to develop an articulate ethnic ideology (see The Rise of Militant Ethnicity: Abako , ch. 1).

Data as of December 1993

Zaire - TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • The Society and Its Environment

  • Go Up - Top of Page

    Make allRefer Reference your HomepageAdd allRefer Reference to your FavoritesGo to Top of PagePrint this PageSend this Page to a Friend


    Information Courtesy: The Library of Congress - Country Studies


    Content on this web site is provided for informational purposes only. We accept no responsibility for any loss, injury or inconvenience sustained by any person resulting from information published on this site. We encourage you to verify any critical information with the relevant authorities.

     

     

     
     


    About Us | Contact Us | Terms of Use | Privacy | Links Directory
    Link to allRefer | Add allRefer Search to your site

    allRefer
    All Rights reserved. Site best viewed in 800 x 600 resolution.