Brett Smith KONGO

Brett Smith KONGO - Brett Smith Kongo Information Kongo is...

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Brett Smith Kongo Information Kongo is the ethnic group in lower Zaire, Congo Brazzaville and Angola ‘Congo’ – colonial term used for Belgian Congo (now Zaire) Christianity arrived in 1490 – King Baptized Alfonso I Christian symbol of the cross almost certainly interpreted according to the indigenous diagram of the universe and time Kongo Kingdom: some semi-uniformed state o At the mouth of a river which led to Atlantic Ocean Concept of time endlessly revolving o Flat earth, kingdom of the dead o Sun parallel to the recycling of human beings Qualities of a person are re-born; not an entire unit o Important or holy people are ‘Simbi’ spirits (they escape the life cycle and become a natural, infinite indicator of spirits such as a waterfall or rock, etc) One person who crosses the living and dead o The king makes contact with the dead o Kingship thought of as initiation which places him partially in the world of the dead o Similarly, the chief of the village does that o Finds out what dangers lie ahead World of the dead: upside down in the world underneath o Whiteness associated with the dead ‘mpempa’ (White clay) o White reflected off water indicates spirits o White city of the dead Sea shells , white clay, watery underworld Noon here, midnight in the dead underworld 1668 – court of Loango – leopard: altar-ego of the King o European engraving o Very violent imagery o Many non-western cultured view the past as a more important aspect for the present decision making than the future Many Kongo consult ancestors Live in the lower Democratic Republic of Congo o United 1300 c.e. under a single ruler Thought system goes back to ~1000 c.e. King = ‘earthly son’ and the link between the world of dead and living o Living dead person = alive but b/c of age, ancestory, spirit powers, etc they can communicate with the dead *Above and Below Minkisi o Corresponds to your waist o Below = associated with women; deal with disease below the waist and gynecological problems, sexual problems, and any problem not overtly political
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Color = white o Above = war, men, and disease above the waist Color = red o Seen in the landscape = violent landscape in terms of swift climatic conditions / changes Water changes – below Lighting strikes – above Binary opposition, 2 clusters of Minkisi o Objects correspond to either below or the above category Items involved could be records of actions / ideas of them connected to the client Lecture Court of the King of Kongo, 1884 o European clothing o Leopard underneath his feet o Colonization of Kongo atrocious o Late 19 th century given to Belgium (to Leopold II) as a ‘personal garden’ Extremely irresponsible Believed overseas colonies the key to greatness Tried to acquire a colony as a personal investment, not on behalf of his country 1878 used false company to establish a colony in the Congo
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This note was uploaded on 12/22/2011 for the course ART HIST 250 taught by Professor Brett-smith during the Fall '11 term at Rutgers.

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Brett Smith KONGO - Brett Smith Kongo Information Kongo is...

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