Laman KiKongo Collection Guide (and Supplementary Materials)
Janzen, John M.
Introduction: Copyright 2021 John M. Janzen.
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This collection is an archival treasure of about 10,000 handwritten pages that records the life of people in the Lower Congo early in the 20th century. Congolese teachers wrote the notebooks in response to questions prepared by Karl Laman, missionary ethnographer linguist with the Swedish Covenant Church from 1898 until 1917. The notebooks cover the history of the region where the teachers worked (see map) and its peoples; their livelihoods, food preparation and domestic housing; social organization, political structures, religious beliefs and prominent rituals; language arts, music, dance, visual and material culture. Some of the authors depart from the questions to offer creative independent narratives on topics of their interest. Throughout the decade in which he developed his lexicon for the dictionary, Laman corresponded with scholars about his work and extended his questionnaire with the teachers and discussed with them the nature of their findings. The collection represents a veritable encyclopedia on Kongo culture in the Kikongo language by Kongo authors.
This record contains an introduction to the Laman KiKongo Collection, and supplemental materials.
Janzen, John M.
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