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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Kongo and the King of the Americans
Author:MacGaffey, WyattISNI
Periodical:Journal of Modern African Studies
Geographic term:Congo (Democratic Republic of)
Subjects:African Independent Churches
African religions
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/159465
Abstract:The subject, 'what America means to a MuKongo', is to some extent marginal among Kongo beliefs. It is relevant to international affairs and also to whether beliefs and symbols, whatever their referents, form a systematic whole or merely an incoherent assemblage. In the 'systcme de connaissance' of the MuKongo there are two races, the white and the black. The black inhabits 'Africa', which means the Democratic Republic and adjacent territories, the white race inhabits 'Europe' (Mputu) or the land of the dead. In times of excitement people begin to talk about the Americans. One of the hymns of the Kimbanguists mentions the coming of the 'King of the Americans'. In that context America means the land of the dead from where the ancestors (the exported slaves) will come back to Mbanza Kongo, the heavenly kingdom. Kimbangu died in Elisabethville in 1951. The third day after his dead he appeared to disciples in Lowa. In the interim he harrowed America which means that he crossed to the land of the dead to bring the message of salvation. In that way the MuKongo interpretes historical events in terms of fundamental beliefs. Notes.