The Bobo and the Bakongo

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					The Bobo and the Bakongo

      Ellen Benveniste
The Bobo




(1) A Bobo woman
   Location




(2) A Map of West Africa
              History
Current Population: 110,000
Language: Bobo (Mande)
Migrated from the north
Settled in modern day Burkina Faso and
Mali since 800 AD
1914 uprising against Senegalese
mercenaries
                   Economy
Agriculture
Sustenance:
–   Red sorghum
–   Pearl millet
–   Yams
–   Maize
Cash crop:
– Cotton sold to textile
  mills in Koudougou         (3) Pearl Millet
– Impact on social
  structure
       Social Organization
Decentralized
Autonomous villages
Patrilineal
Polygyny
Council of Elders
Importance of community in decision making
Egalitarian
– Some despised castes of smiths and leatherworkers
                 Religion
Wuro the Creator god
– Never physically
  represented and
  cannot be described
  with words
Dwo – Wuro‟s son
Balanced pairs
Restoring balance
through offerings
Elaborate costumes
and masks
                        (4) Bobo Funeral costume
                       Art
Masks fashioned from
leaf, fiber, cloth, and
wood
Religious ceremonies
– Dwo resides in the
  mask until he takes
  the body of the wearer
– The wearer can then
  communicate the will
  of Dwo with others         (5)                (6)

                                   Bobo Masks
The Bakongo




 (7) Bakongo witch doctors
Location




(8) Bakongo Region
                History
Migrated from NE to current location in
13th century under the leadership of Wene
Kongo Kingdom
– Rulers descending from Wene
– Elected by governors and important citizens
Relationship with Portuguese
– Diplomatic Relations
– Jagas invasion 1568
– Colonization
                 Economy
Kongo Kingdom
– Slaves, ivory, copper
Modern Day
– Cassava, bananas,            (9) Cassava
  maize, sweet
  potatoes, beans, and
  taro
– Cash Crops: coffee,
  cacao, urena,
  bananas, and palm oil


                          (10) Palm Oil Plantation
       Social Organization
Matrilineal
Decentralized – Independent villages
Connection between religion and ruling
– Divine power of the chief
Family lineage very important
Families live together on compounds with
multiple huts and a protective wall
                Religion
Ancestor Worship
Land of the Living and
Land of the Dead
Spiritual Energy
passed down through
chiefs
Christian Influence
Fetish Charms
                         (11) Bakongo Crucifix
                       Art
Fetishes
– Nksi (means
  „medicine‟)
– had the power to
  prevent and heal
  illness, ward off bad
  deeds, aid the hunter
  or warrior, and decide
  arguments
                             (12)               (13)
– Nail Fetishes
                             Bakongo Fetishes
               Image Bibliography
(1) A Bobo woman. www.markspark.com/ africa99/themes/women.htm
(2) Map of West Africa.Afropop Worldwide. www.afropop.org
(3) Pearl Millet. “Pearl Millet for Grain.” June 2004. pubs.caes.uga.edu
(4) Bobo Funeral Costume. www.uiowa.edu
(5) Bobo Bird mask. African Masks. www.masksoftheworld.com
(6) Bobo mask. FARU. www.faru-faru-faru.com
(7) Bakongo witch doctors. Estultolitos. idd0073h.eresmas.net
(8) Bakongo region. Kecia‟s World Boutique and African Art Gallery. www.keciasworld.com
(9) Cassava. www.projects.ex.ac.uk
(10) Palm Oil Plantation. www.uga.edu
(11) Bakongo Crucifix. www.christusrex.org
(12) Bakongo Fetish. www.hotelstella.ch
(13) Bakongo Fetish. www.eliteartofafrica.com
                          Bibliography
“Bakongo Fetish Dolls.” http://students.cdssh.org
“Bobo." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2006. Encyclopædia Britannica Online School Edition.
10 Mar. 2006 <http://school.eb.com/eb/article-9015814>.
Bobo Information. Nov. 3 1998. 222.uiowa.edu
“Bokongo Tribe.” Kecia‟s World Boutique and African Art Gallery. www.keciasworld.com
“Kongo." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2006. Encyclopædia Britannica Online School Edition.
10 Mar. 2006 <http://school.eb.com/eb/article-9045999>.
Shimodate, Takanori. “Bakongo.” www.mnsu.edu
“The Bobo People.” African Art Gallery. www.ethnographica.com
“The Kongo People.” African Art Gallery. www.ethnographica.com
“Tribes and People Groups: The Bobo.” African People & Culture. www.africaguide.com

				
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