Map of Kongo

Adam Gurley

Kingdom of Kongo

The Kingdom of Kongo has developed a government system, changed their religon and, discovered new ways of art. Kongo’s unique location has influenced its political control. Located in Central Africa, the Kingdom of Kongo is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the west, Kwongo River on the east, Congo River on the North and Kwanza River on the South. Many different countries owned various parts of Kongo. Religious beliefs influenced Kongo’s arts, schooling and language. The Kingdom of Kongo is also known as Congo and the Democratic Republic Kingdom of Kongo.
The Kingdom of Kongo is an interesting country because of its unique government system. First, Kongo was ruled by three different countries; Manikongo, Portugal, and Mwene Kongo. Together they all owned 6 out of 6 provinces in the Kingdom of Kongo. It was a Portuguese explorer, named Diogo Cao, who discovered the Kongo villages while he sailed the Congo River. He brought slaves and ivory to trade. Next, the government system was also very organized. Each village contained one hereditary chief. Last, the Kingdom of Kongo was influenced by many other of its surrounding countries such as Ngoyo, Kakongo, Ndongo, and Matamba. And finally, the government is significant because it controls the economy, and supports work, and most importantly, it has laws.
The Kingdom of Kongo is a country that has religious beliefs. The Europeans introduced Christianity into the Kingdom of Kongo. Portuguese nobles such as the Portuguese explorer brought Catholic soldiers and priests to build catholic schools and propagate the religion. The Kongo religion and the Catholic religion merged forming new words. Ex: Ukisi= Charm-used to mean holy. Ex: Nkanda= Book- used to mean bible. Ukis= Nkanda- used to mean Holy book or bible. After King Nzinga died, his son took over and was named Afonso. Afonso’s son, Henrique, was sent to Europe to become a priest. The Catholic religion was around almost as long as the Kingdom of Kongo was around (1400-1710). The religion is very important because it changed Kongo as a country.
The Kingdom of Kongo religion had an influence on both the visual arts and the literacy. One example of Christianity influencing the arts is the crucifix. The crucifix is a symbol of Jesus dying on the cross. In the sixteenth century, this Kongo art form was made of wood and brass. This religious work of art was given to Ernst Anspach (African art collector) as a gift. Both the Fetish-statue and the Nkissi-statue was made in Kongo by the people of Kongo. Religion also influenced reading and writing in Kongo because of Catholic schools.. There are a higher percentage of men that can read and write than women. There were fifty-nine thousand people between the ages of fifteen and twenty-four who were reported to be able to read and write in Kongo. Art is a significant part of the Kongo culture because it allows expression of thoughts and emotions.
Kingdom of Kongo Capital

Kongo Crucifix
Religion in Kongo