By Linda M. Heywood
This quantity units out a brand new paradigm that raises our realizing of African tradition and the forces that ended in its transformation in the course of the interval of the Atlantic slave alternate and past, placing lengthy due emphasis at the significance of principal African tradition to the cultures of the us, Brazil, and the Caribbean. targeting the Kongo/Angola tradition sector, the booklet illustrates how African peoples re-shaped their cultural associations as they interacted with Portuguese slave investors as much as 1800, then follows critical Africans via all of the areas the place they have been taken as slaves and captives.
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Additional info for Central Africans and Cultural Transformations in the American Diaspora
Tom´e nos s´eculos XV e XVI,” in Actas do II Col´oquio Internacional de Hist´oria de Madeira (Funchal, 1990), p. 811. 8 A recent revisiting of this documentation, though without emphasis on slaving, is Il´ıdio do Amaral, O Reino do Congo, os Mbundu (ou Ambundos), o Reino de Ngola (ou de Angola) e a presenc¸a portuguesa, de finais do s´eculo XV a meados do s´eculo XVI (Lisbon: Instituto de Investigac¸ a˜ o Cient´ıfica Tropical, 1996). 1. Central Africa During the Era of the Slave Trade, c. 1. The Early Portuguese trade in slaves (1510–1560s).
Although both Vanhee’s and Rey’s contributions detail the Kongo influence on Haitian popular religions during the formative period (1700s–1860), Vanhee seeks to demonstrate the linkages at the level of structure during the colonial period, whereas Rey is more interested in the actual ramifications of Kongo Christianity on Haitian popular culture during the nineteenth century. In any event, the four essays in this section demonstrate the resilience and pervasiveness of Central African traditions, and the role of prior creolization and Christianization among enslaved Central Africans in the two regions.
They meant that victims of the slave trade arrived in the Americas not with visions of stable institutions of “state” in their heads but rather thinking in metaphors of protective powers exercised by strong, personal patrons on behalf of loyal clients through continual ad hoc demonstrations of efficacy, often through metaphorical reliance on ancestors and other spiritual figures. Later, similarly efficacious leaders among the populations enslaved in the Americas might invoke memories of feared or respected patrons in Africa, the mani Kongo or the famed queen Nzinga,33 even claiming them as figurative ancestors, as means of creating entirely new communities among people there, otherwise strangers, seeking means of collaboration within slavery.