Between the 17th and the 20th century, developed in the Kasai region south of the Democratic Republic of Congo a sophisticated civilization and beautiful. The study of civilization Kuba is particularly interesting in that it has escaped the black holocaust and arrived intact in the 20thcentury to be photographed. It reflects and therefore makes palpable, stories of old on the high level of civilization of black Africa before the slave trade.
The birth of civilization Kuba
This is particularly the fertile land between the rivers Kasai and Sunkuru, a people, Kuba (bakuba plural), settled by conquest in the late 17th century. Kuba said to come from the far north and to the similarities between their organization and that of ancient Egypt, the African-American scholar and religious William Sheppard thought they were from Egypt. The people calling Kuba kingdom were Bushongo the Ngeende the Ngongo, the Shoowa the Bieeng, Kel, the Ilebo, the Kete, the Kayuweeng the Bulang, the Pyaang the Mbeengi the Maluk, the Ngombe, the Baliba the Kaam. Thus was born around 1690 the kingdom multi-Cappadocia with Bicycle Kuba, with Bushongo group at its head. Due to its geographical position which gave him relative isolation, and share its defense mechanisms, the Kingdom Kuba managed to preserve the devastation of European and Arab slave trade, and had a long prosperity. He was not destabilized by the annihilation of the Congo by the Belgians at the turn of the 20th century.
As in all of black Africa, Kuba society was matriarchal and according to the rule is the son of the sister of the king who ascended the throne, as in ancient Egypt. The oldest woman of the royal family was the real sovereign, and she could remove the king from office. In the empire of Monomotapa, the king was crowned by his mother and married her sister. In the empire of Ghana, the king ruled with his mother and sister. The king as throughout black Africa was political and religious leader in Kuba. Indirect democracy as in the basin Djoliba (Niger) reigned. A council of elders could dictate to the king’s conduct and even assassinate him. This is closer to the Yoruba where the king gave the order to commit suicide if they were dissatisfied with his action. The Royal Court in the Kingdom Kuba was composed of ten thousand members, including hundreds of royal brides. Kuba prohibited foreigners from entering their land. Whoever violated the rules was struck by death. The African-American religious William Sheppard was among the first to be allowed to enter, this man has left to posterity written on Kuba civilization.
The beauty of the Kuba kingdom
The German respected historian Leo Frobenius tells us “In 1906, when I entered the territory Kasai Sankuru, I still found villages whose main streets were lined on each side, for miles, four palm rows, and whose boxes adorned each charmingly were so many works of art. no man who did not bear arms sumptuous iron or copper, inlaid with blades, sleeves covered in snakeskin. Everywhere velvet fabrics silk. every cut, every pipe, every spoon was a work of art perfectly worthy of being compared to the creations of European Roman style. But this was only the duvet soft and shimmering especially adorning a wonderful fruit and ripe , gestures, manners, moral canon of the entire people, from child to old man, although they should live in absolutely natural limits were dignified and grace, among families of princes and wealthy as in those of vassals and slaves “. As in Kongo empire, there were in the kingdom Kuba sumptuous fabrics made of vegetable fiber raffia, with bark, palm leaves. The velvet was present. Y were added decorative éléménts or representative of status beads, cowrie shells, skins, metals.
By: African-African History History ©
Sources and bibliography:
- William Sheppard: Congo’s African American Livingstone William E. Phipps, page 79-82.
- Leo Frobenius, quoted in “When the African was the black gold of Europe, Africa, actress or victim of the” slave “”, pages 145 and 146, Bwemba Bong.