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By John C. Yoder

John Yoder chronicles the historical past of the Kanyok, a humans from the southern savanna of Zaire, from earlier than 1500 until eventually their incorporation into the Congo unfastened nation within the Nineties. by way of examining their oral traditions, myths, and legends, the writer describes the political and cultural improvement of a those that, ahead of 1891, had no written documents, and whose historical past has formerly been limited to the stale recitation of wars and succession struggles that represent many present books on pre-colonial Africa. Yoder units his paintings firmly in the higher context of the southern savanna by way of extending his investigations to the traditions of neighboring peoples, specifically to the Luba and Lunda, whose empires as soon as ruled the area. during this method, he demonstrates how an identical tales and concepts circulated over an enormous region yet have been always tailored to neighborhood situations.

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Extra resources for The Kanyok of Zaire: An Institutional and Ideological History to 1895 (African Studies)

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38 Inabanz or Nambanz, a title known widely across the southern savanna region, consistently designates an official sister of the chief. Her consort, the Shabanz, frequently has a police or military function and is considered as a brother-in-law, an outsider to the ruling matrilineage. 39 Early Kanyok mythology and cosmology In addition to their ideas about social stratifications and matrilineal family organization, another enduring legacy of the early Bantu-speaking peoples has been their mythology and cosmology.

A typical Kanyok account claimed: "When the Kanyok arrived here they found the Twa who were pygmies. The Twa did not cultivate, they did not make iron, and they did not build houses. They did nothing but hunt. " Furthermore, only the putative original settlers had any right to hold political office. Oral history's attempt to distinguish and rank the defeated Twa, the Kanyok "original inhabitants," and the later arrivals reflects both historical fact and social perceptions. Certainly, people with different languages, economies, and technologies settled and lived in the area.

These clans regulated marriage, guaranteed hospitality, administered tribute, and managed conflict. 12 Around 1600 or 1700, when pressure from the increasingly powerful and ambitious Ruund forced the Salampasu to give more attention to defense, the mungongo warrior societies and their leaders the Tulamba Tumbanji began to challenge the matrilineages' monopoly of political and economic power. Gathering a group of unmarried men who ranged in age from fifteen to thirty, a Kalamba Kambanji offered his recruits training, experience in hunting and war, the spoils of battle, and access to concubines retained by the Kalamba.

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