|Funeraire rituelen in het Kongo Koninkrijk: De betekenis van de schelp- en glaskralenin de begraafplaats van Kindoki, Mbanza Nsundi, Neder-Congo = Funerary rites in the Kongo Kingdom, the meaning of shell- and glass beads in the cemetery of Kindoki, Lower Congo|
Verhaeghe, C. (2014). Funeraire rituelen in het Kongo Koninkrijk: De betekenis van de schelp- en glaskralenin de begraafplaats van Kindoki, Mbanza Nsundi, Neder-Congo = Funerary rites in the Kongo Kingdom, the meaning of shell- and glass beads in the cemetery of Kindoki, Lower Congo. MA Thesis. Universiteit Gent, Faculteit Letteren en Wijsbegeerte: Gent. 121 pp.
Universiteit Gent, Faculteit Letteren en Wijsbegeerte, more
|Available in|| Author |
VLIZ: Non-open access 264848
|Document type: Dissertation|
Glass beads; Shells; Trade
Kongo Kingdom; Funerary rites
The Kingdom of Kongo was a well-known, powerful and ancient kingdom in Central-Africa that originated in the 14th century. The Bakongo, the former inhabitants of the Kongo, gained much authority in the region. In the 15th century, the Portuguese organized tight contacts with the Kingdom of Kongo. From then on, European goods were used as a medium of exchange within the kingdom. These European goods gained new significance in the local culture and even found their way into the funerary rites. Examining the tombs of the Bakongo will teach us more about this phenomenon. The grave goods can tell us something about the Bakongo funerary rites, trade networks, social complexity and local beliefs. One of the most important grave goods in the Kingdom of Kongo were shell and glass beads. They occur in many tombs and symbolize wealth, status or femininity. The burial site of Kindoki, linked with the former capital of Kongo’s Nsundi province, is a great example. In these tombs, a great number of shell and glass beads were found together with symbols of power, such as metal bracelets and weapons. Finding out the origin of these beads, and how and why shell and glass beads were used in the Kongo Kingdom leads to interesting new insights on the social and economic organization of the old Bakongo-society, their beliefs about life and death and the symbolic meaning of these beads.