CAAS notes term2 - 10.19.06 Kuba • Bushoong cultural...

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Unformatted text preview: 10.19.06 Kuba • Bushoong cultural group majority • Nyim (King) Shyaam the great—founder of current dynasty (1625-- ) of Kuba. • Creation myth: king linked to Mbwoom sky god & first man Woot. Story of creation—Woot slept with sister, and birthed 1 st child with evils of the world. Each royal king owns basket of knowledge linked to Woot’s basket of knowledge. • “Nyim Kot Amgweekye in court”: o King is captive by clothes—large headdress, lots of clothing, animal skins, beads/cowry shells to show wealthladen with everything he’s wearing. Not easy to stand at all. o White armlets: contain king’s spirit in his body—volatile figure, on border btwn human & spirit world—hold his spirit in his body. o Surrounds self w/ commissioned artwork—drums, woven mats, & personal regalia. Much of this will be buried w/ king when dies, each king creates new stuff. • “Kuba Ndop figure”: o Ndops are portraits of rulers, wood, called “seated wooden figures” often in records. o This one for Shyaam the great o Possibly adopted from Kongo Ntadi figures: Sitting cross-legged, expression is closed, collected & even, eyes are shaped as cowry shell, not gazing at anything in this world—looking inward, mouth closed—listener, aware, collects info, few words. Holding a sword in L hand & in front of him is a game- Lele [Mancala] b/c he was known as a master of the game, suggests a good decision maker. Head is larger in proportion (1/3). Well- fed, round stomach. Wearing armlets used to contain his spirit. o Scholarly bias toward ndop figures—bias toward groups w/ centralized rule (kingships) b/c could link this w/ European kingships, easier to understand & accept—drawn to these kingdoms. Kuba also monogamous unlike most kingdoms. Level of civility judged by how dressed the ppl were, & what they wore (raffia cloth meant unconverted—once a Christian no raffia cloth). [dinkley/Darish] o Used in ceremonies of enthronement—transfer power form 1 king to next —when 1 passes away, ndop figure receives spirit after he passes. When next king appointed, new king lays down next to ndop figure to receive spirit from inside figure. o Also used as effigies of existing/past rulers. • “Kuba Royal Drum”: o King commissions drums when he comes to power o Detailed, covered in beads & cowry shells, symbol of wealth & royal dignity o Used to accompany dances/performances • “Kuba wine cups”: o mimic drums (in shape), small, handheld, used to drink palm wine at court. Some figurative, similar to Ndop figures. Metal included to signify high social rank/power of chiefs. Tool material rubbed over face (mix of cam wood & palm oil—both red) • “Kuba Drinking horn”: o Carved, for soldiers/military....
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CAAS notes term2 - 10.19.06 Kuba • Bushoong cultural...

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