The Kuba (Bushongo) TribeThe Kuba (Bushongo) Tribe
gallery : dem. rep. of congo : kuba (bushongo)
map of Dem. Rep. of CongoThe Kuba's neighbors, the Luba, gave them their name, which means "people of lightning." The king, nyim, is chosen from the subtribe of the Bushong, or "knife throwers." Numbering about 70,000 in 1947, less than in 1938, the Kuba and the related tribes of the Kete and Cwa live in a region of valleys where numerous rivers flow south to north; the hills are covered with brush and the rivers are bordered by forests.

Kuba myths and legends describe the creation and organization of the world and recolunt heroic feats. In the royal residence was a dignitary in charge of the preservation of traditions and their transmission-an exceptional occurrence in Black Africa. Several hypotheses have been advanced as to why the Kuba settled in this region: apparently, they had come from the cast and not far from the sea encountered the Europeans. They were forced to flee, and thus came to occupy their present area. This may explain their bonds with coastal tribes. During the nineteenth century, the Kuba had to defend themselves against several Luba invasions, and their history is marked by rebellions and upheavals; the Bushong, who subjugated the whole of the Kuba, demanded payment of a tribute. The king lived in the capital, in the mushenge, or palace, enclosed by a palisade, surrounded by his council, komono, and functionaries. The population of the mushenge did not work the soil and lived on the tributes paid them by the villages. Diviners, sorcerers, blacksmiths, and maskmakers worked the fields part timeā€¦

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