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KINGDOM OF KONGO
Transcript of KINGDOM OF KONGO
The Kongo's political structure was a dynasty type consisting of kings and hereditary successors.
The first king was Ntinu Nimi a Lukeni, who ruled from 1380-1420 C.E..
The kings were seen as wise and noble along with the royal families, since family was a vital part of the Kongo culture.
During the 15th century, the Bakuba people were a strong power throughout the Kongo and their form of government was much like a democratic political system that expressed the will of the people.
Economy of the Kongo
Trade was a huge factor in the Kongo and was closely linked with the political structure as well.
Traded: metals, salt, animal hides, fabric, ivory internationally and locally.
Agriculture was also a basis for the kingdom.
Many of the villages functioned on a self-sufficient, socialized economic system.
Families shared the land and evenly distributed the crops grown on the shared land.
Leftover produce could be used to pay superiors and those of higher class.
KINGDOM OF KONGO
Post-Classical Time Period
Star Chambers & Abby Wood & Brandon Sham
The Rise of the Kingdom of Kongo
The Kindom of Kongo began around the 13th Century, but it did not flourish until around the 15th century.
It began on the lower Congo River and eventually spanned all the way to the western coast.
It had a population of 60,000 to 100,000 by the early 16th century.
Religion in the Kongo
The Kongo people believed in Nzambi Kalungo who was the creator and power source of the Kongo.
They also believe in lesser spirits and ancestors and that evil, disorder, and injustice are the results of such base human motives such as greed, envy or maliciousness.
Believed life was a cycle and rotated between "this world" and "the land of the dead".
Christianity was later introduced by the Portuguese and became a widely followed religion in the Kongo, even though some resisted due to the belief that the Portuguese were using Christianity as a means to control them.
There were also traditional beliefs, Kinguismo and Kinbangism, which combined Christianity with traditional elements.
Discovery of the Kongo
Much of the history and civilization of Central Africa and East Africa was revealed by the study made by the Portuguese African explorer Duarte Lopez in his book "History of the Kingdom of Kongo".
Duarte Lopez went to the Congo in 1578 and stayed for many years.
Other Portuguese people were also attracted to the Kongo. One reason was because of the rich gold mines at Sofala.
They often used intermarriage with the African people as a means of gaining favor and pushing farther into the interior of Africa.
Ruling of the Kongo cont.
The Kingdom of Kongo was composed of 6 provinces: Mpemba, Mbata, Nsundi, Mpangu, Mbemba and Soyo, plus 4 vassal Kingdoms: Loango, Cacongo and Ngoye, at the North of the N'Zari river, and Ndongo, at the South of the Congo river.
Villages had local chieftainships who ruled and kept order locally.
Economy of the Kongo cont.
People developed the skills of weaving, pottery, blacksmithing, and carving.
Artisans skilled in the working of wood, copper, and iron were highly esteemed.
The currency was seashells, which the women collected from the seashore.
Gender Roles in the Kongo
A sharp division of labor between men and women.
Men: cleared forests and scrubs, produced palm oil and palm wine, built houses, hunted, and conducted long distance trade.
Women: took charge of cultivation, cared for domestic animals, conducted household duties, and made salt from seawater.