240244 - Old African Mongo sword - Congo


Old African Mongo sword - Congo DRC.
Early 20th centuryDemocratic Republic of Congo.
Maximum length = 55 cm.
The photos are part of the description.Handle in poor condition.
Authentic piece from a Belgian private collection

The Mongo people are an ethnic group who live in the equatorial forest of Central Africa. They are the largest ethnic group in the Democratic Republic of Congo, highly influential in its north region. The Mongo people are a diverse collection of sub-ethnic groups who are referred to as AnaMongo. The Mongo people, despite their diversity, share a common legend wherein they believe that they are the descendants of a single ancestor named Mongo. Historically the term “Bangala” had been imposed on the Mongo people to such consistency various groups of Mongo origin accept this term without regard to the historical origins of the term “Bangala”. According to Political Scientist, Crawford Young, He discovered “Bangala” was indeed an artificial creation and never existed.Given the equatorial forests they live in, like neighboring ethnic groups, the Mongo people cultivate cassava, yam and banana as staple foods. This is supplemented with wild-plant and edible-insects gathering, seasonal vegetables and beans, fishing, and hunting.[8] The society is patrilineal, and traditionally based on a joint family household called Etuka with twenty to forty members, derived from an ancestor lineage. The male elder of the Etuka is called Tata (meaning father). A cluster of Etuka form a village of the Mongo people. Disputes and covenants between lineages were typically resolved through goods or inter-marriages. Some sub-ethnic groups found in the southern parts of Congo have had a chief, instead of being a collection of lineages, with the chief known as Bokulaka.
Traditional religion of the Mongo people is largely one of ancestor worship, belief in nature spirits, fertility rites, with shamanic practices such as magic, sorcery, and witchcraft. Mongo artistic achievements, songs, musical instruments and carvings show richness and high sophistication. Like many ancient cultures, the Mongo people have used the oral tradition to preserve and transmit knowledge to the next. Polygamy has been a part of the Mongo culture into the modern age, though missionaries have attempted to curb this part after their conversion to Christianity.