The Kanyok of Zaire: An Institutional and Ideological History to 1895

The Kanyok of Zaire: An Institutional and Ideological History to 1895

by John C. Yoder
     
 

In this study John Yoder chronicles the history of the Kanyok, a people from the southern savanna of Zaire, from before 1500 until their incorporation into the Congo Free State in the 1890s. By analyzing their oral histories, myths and legends, the author describes the political and cultural development of a people who, before 1891, had no written records, and… See more details below

Overview

In this study John Yoder chronicles the history of the Kanyok, a people from the southern savanna of Zaire, from before 1500 until their incorporation into the Congo Free State in the 1890s. By analyzing their oral histories, myths and legends, the author describes the political and cultural development of a people who, before 1891, had no written records, and accounts of whose past had previously been confined to the sketchy recitation of wars and succession struggles that characterize many existing books on pre-colonial African states. Yoder sets his work firmly within the larger context of the southern savanna by extending his investigations to the traditions of neighboring peoples, in particular to the Luba and the Lunda, whose empires once dominated the region. In this way he demonstrates how the same stories and ideas circulated over a vast area but were continually adapted to local circumstances. Yoder's history of the Kanyok of Zaire thereby forms the nucleus for a broader and more composite understanding of the entire region.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521412988
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
04/28/2007
Series:
African Studies Series
Pages:
232
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.67(d)

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Table of Contents

List of maps and figures
Acknowledgements
Abbreviations
Chronology
Introduction1
Failed feasts and deadly dances
1Wood and wine, gardens and game6
The Kanyok land and environment
2Stratification, symbols, and spirits12
Early matrilineal society in the Luilu valley
3New legends for new leaders29
Emergence of patrilineally controlled chiefdoms, ca. 1500 to 1700
4Serpents and lightning51
Kanyok images of chiefship in the 1700s
5Dances, moats, and myths64
Ilung a Cibang rejects Luba imperialism, ca. 1800 to 1825
6Combat, classes, titles, and trade81
Elements of Kanyok society in the nineteenth century
7Schisms and slaves, ghosts and guns111
The Kanyok face new challenges, ca. 1825 to 1880
8Assassinations, alliances, and ambushes129
A failure of the feast, 1880 to 1895
Appendix Methodology151
Notes159
Bibliography188
Index198

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