The Kongos (Ne Kongo, Besi Kongo, Kongo people , The Bakongo) are a people of Central Africa. They are found mainly in the south of the Republic of Congo (Congo-Brazzaville), in the provinces of Central Kongo, in the province of Kinshasa, Kwilu province and Kwango province and in part of Angola. At the end of the twentieth century, they are estimated at about ten million individuals



The Bakongo migrated from the south around the third century, after a spiral migration, under the leadership of their leaders (Tuti Dia tiya, Kodi Puanga …) and settled near the banks of a large river (Kongo Nzadi means river; the name Zaire was born of a misunderstanding or pronunciation of the Portuguese.) In 1482, the Portuguese led by Diogo Cão reached the coast. The Kongo kingdom was then at its greatest level thanks to the cultivation of yams, the manufacture of iron and the exchange of hoes for ivory with the Peoples of the Inland. The history of Central Kongo dates back to the 15th century. Nothing can be said about the years prior to this period. Oral traditions, proverbs, folktales and myths provide some information, but they cannot be considered in each case as reliable historical sources; therefore, their use in this sense has led to contradictory theories about the origin of the populations of central Kongo.
Diego Cam, the Portuguese explorer, arrived at the mouth of the Congo River in 1482. The natives told him about a Kingdom of Central Kongo where a king called Mwene Kongo (Mwene being a title of honor) reigned in the capital Mbanza Kongo (mbanza means city or village). The Portuguese soon occupied the country near the coast, and an embassy was sent from Portugal to Mwene Kongo, who was only an ordinary chief ruling on a comparatively small territory located in the south of the Congo River. The Portuguese delegation, led by Rodrigue de Souza, included several Catholic priests. Mwene Kongo was baptized in 1492 and a cathedral was erected in the capital, Mbanza Kongo, which was now called San Salvador.
The Congo was invaded in 1570 by a Kwango tribe, whereupon the King of San Salvador required the help of the King of Portugal. The Portuguese government sent six hundred soldiers who drove out the invaders. Thanks to this victory, the King of S. Salvador became his vassal. Meanwhile, the Dutch began to compete with the Portuguese over this possession. They also sent a delegation to San Salvador and seized the coastal town, San Paul de Loanda, in 1640. This port was occupied by the Portuguese until 1646. The Portuguese gradually withdrew from the interior of Congo where they had encountered firm opposition from the natives. In 1782 all the missionaries of the Roman Church left San Salvador. From this date, no white man visited the interior of the country until 1857 when the ethnographic explorer Adolf Bastian arrived in San Salvador.
During the years 1859 to 1886, the Portuguese occupied San Salvador and elevated an indigenous prince, Don Pedro V, to the rank of king. However, they did not completely explore the interior of the Congo before 1877 and were familiar with the Congo River only up to the current Territory of Manianga. They had never gone further inland than Stanley Pool (Pool Malebo) although they could reach the Kwango River.
The Portuguese had brought several plants and animals previously unknown to the Congo. Local food before the arrival of the Portuguese must have been very basic, consisting mainly of plantains, palm nuts, roots and leaves of the forests as well as fish and bush meat. When the Europeans arrived, especially the Catholic priests, they brought in cattle, pigs and new agricultural products such as peanuts, corn, sweet potatoes, pineapples, guavas, oranges, lemons, papaya and tobacco. .
All Portuguese and Dutch attempts to penetrate further into Africa from the west failed. Finally, David Livingstone, Henry Morton Stanley and Verney L. Cameron, with their great scientific explorations, succeeded to breach through these lands completely unexplored (by the Europeans).
David Livingstone discovered Lake Ngami, Victoria Falls and Upper Zambezi. He was also the first to reach Upper Kasai and explored part of the Kwango as he headed for the Atlantic coast at Saint Paul de Loanda. His trip was enormously important in the history of Congo. He continued his way beyond the regions of the Upper Zambezi where he hoped to discover the source of the Nile. He entered the southern region of Tanganyika. He discovered Lake Moero and Luapula in 1867, Bangwelo Lake in 1868, and reached Lualaba Congo in 1871. He died in the Congo Basin in Ilala country in 1873.
Cameron’s trip from Zanzibar to the Atlantic coast was a turning point in the recent history of Africa. He reached Lake Tanganyika and from there he headed west to Nyangwe on the Lualaba. He suspected that the Lualaba was the main river of the Congo, although he had not climbed it to the north. He crossed the watershed of the Congo-Zambezi, reached the River Ruki and finally the Atlantic coast in November 1875. He was the first European to cross equatorial Africa from sea to sea.
Henry M. Stanley was sent to help Livingstone in 1871. This first trip to East Africa inspired him to commence a journey across the continent from east to west. After leaving Zanzibar, he reached and bypassed both Victoria Falls and Lake Tanganyika. From there he left for Nyangwe on the Lualaba. He pursued this river and finally realized that it was the upper part of the Congo. He travelled along the Congo River to the Atlantic coast, which he reached in 1877. The consequence of this revolutionary voyage of exploration was the creation of the Congo Free State under King Leopold II’s tutelage. He donated the Congo Free State to Belgium in 1889, but his gift was accepted by the Belgian Parliament in 1908. Since then, the Congo is a Belgian colony. The Belgian Congo has an area of 2,350,000 square kilometres with a population of 12,000,000 Africans and 30,000 Europeans (1948). The Congo was divided into two main parts: Central Kongo and Upper Congo. Upper-Congo is a flat area covered in many areas of virgin forest. Central Kongo is rather rugged with mounts covered with grass and deep gorges covered with gallery forests. The Belgian Congo was the world’s largest producer of radium, cobalt, copal and diamonds (1948). More than 200 languages are spoken in this colony, with three main languages. Kikongo is one of these three main languages. The climate is tropical with very little temperature variation.
It is in this central Kongo country that the Mukongo (Bakongo) people are settled. The Bakongo belong to the large Bantu ethnic group living in the region from the sixth degree of north latitude to South Africa. Bantu is not an ethnographic or geographical term; in the minds of Europeans the term Bantu means both ethnic group and language. The term Bantu is, in various dialects, the oldest and most widely used term for “people”. This term is also very appropriate in its special meaning which means the most fundamental aspect of the Bantu languages, namely that the prefix always takes precedence over its inflexible root. For more explanation, see K. E. Laman.
The Bakongo take their name from the royal capital, Kongo dia Ntotila (Kongo of the King). Many villages under the King’s jurisdiction in San Salvador had similar names: Kongo dia Lemba (Kongo of Lemba), Kongo dia Kati (Kongo from the middle of the country), and so on.
People were also called bisi Kongo (Kongo’s people). Among the Bakongo, there are many large clans that are more or less under the influence of the King (in San Salvador) although those living far away in the periphery of the Kingdom have little connection with San Salvador.
Among the great clans who were not under the influence of Kongo dia Ntotila, we can mention: the Basundi, the Babwende and the Bamazinga in the Territory of Manianga, the Bayombe to the west in the territory of Tshela, Baloangu on the west coast north of Pointe-Noire, Babembe and Balari north and west of the Belgian Congo border.
The Bakongo established diplomatic relations, which also included the sending of a delegation to the Royal Court of Portugal in 1485. Relations initially egalitarian turned into a seizure of the Portuguese. In a spirit of modernization, the Kongo leaders accepted the Christianity of the European missionaries. It also involved the adoption of Portuguese manners and lifestyle, which displeased a large part of the people. Moreover, around 1452, a prophet, Ne-Buela Muanda, predicted the arrival of the Portuguese, the physical and spiritual enslavement of many Bakongo.
Tensions between Christians and followers of the Kongo religions began to rise. In 1526, the Portuguese were expelled, but they allied with Kongo military rebels of Yaka province, Jagas (Bayaka) in 1568. The Kongo Kingdom never recovered its past greatness. The following years, Bakongo fought alternately against and with the Portuguese, the Dutch and the Spaniards to finally be colonized in 1885. In the twentieth century, a Kongo political party, the Bakongo Alliance (ABAKO) as well as the Kimbanguist societies and Bundu dia Kongo played an important role in the independence of the Republic
The kingdom raised taxes, established the obligatory work of its citizens to finance its social stability. Indeed, taking charge of the least favoured part of society was the king’s main duty. The king could be a man like a woman. When he was a king, his wife was the first lady of the country, and could choose and repudiate her husband, dismiss him, raise the army, and so on. Working days were regulated, so that one day of rest every seven days was granted to each person, but in rotation according to the provinces and clans. The Kongo week consists of four days, the month of 28, and there are four days of rest per month (1 every 7 days).
The social system was more favourable to the less wealthy, since:
• Landowners, employers and the upper class should take care of the poor, under penalty of dishonour. For example, it was mandatory for an employer to have their employees work in the morning and leave them in the afternoons to produce for their family and personal property;
• Any failure could be accompanied by social discredit.
As for the king, he was responsible for all these aspects of social organization. He was elected by a group of governors, usually heads of important parties and later by Portuguese officials. Cities were usually run by village chiefs. All members of the government were invested in their duties under conditions of competence, respect for morals and with the approval of the spiritual authorities.

Culture: The Bakongo and their language

Kikongo is a language spoken by the Kongo (Bakongo in Kikongo) living in Angola (in the north of the country and the enclave of Cabinda), in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (in the provinces of Central Kongo, Kwilu, Kwango and in the city of Kinshasa), in the Republic of Congo (in the southwest region to Brazzaville), and in southern Gabon. It is a national language of the DRC. It is written with the Latin alphabet.

Geographical distribution of the language Kikongo

The Kongo languages are spoken in:
• Southern Congo-Brazzaville:
o Kouilou region,
o South of the Niari region,
o region of Bouenza,
o southwestern half of the Pool region;
• South West Congo-Kinshasa:
o central Kongo province,
o part of the city province of Kinshasa,
o Kwilu Province and Bandundu City,
o Kwango Province,
o Far West Kasai Occidental;
• North West Angola:
o Cabinda province,
o Uige Province,
o Zaire province,
o North of Bengo and Cuanza North provinces;
• The south coast of Gabon.

The dialects of the Ikongo language are:
kitsokue, kimbundu, kivombo, kiholo, kibemba, kisinsi, kipombo, kikuandu, kimbala, kisuku, kiyanzi, kipende, kitende, kimbunda, kingongo, kihungana, kiteke, kifumu, kimbamba, kitsamba, kiyaka, kilunda, kilari, kiyombe, kiwoyo, kikamba, kibembe, kiwumbu, kiluangu, kivili, kikota, kibinda, kipunu, kilumbu, kitsangi, kitsongo, kighangala, kinsanga, kisolongo, kimbata, kizombo, kimbembe, kintandu, kibuende (manianga), kindibu, etc …

Religion: A Supreme God

The Bakongo, like the other Bantu ethnic groups, believe in a Supreme Being. In Central West Africa, this Supreme Being is called Nzambi, Nzambe, Njambe, Anambia, etc. All these names derive from the same root which, according to Swedish missionary and ethnographer Karl Edvard Laman, seems to signify the true light phenomenon of the beginning, the dazzling light, the light of the sky. The same root is found in the words my-nya, i-nyi, mw-ini, the light of the sun, the light of day. The word Nzarnbi seems to signify the “distributor of light”, the Being who sends the light of day, the one who lights the dawn through the firmament, the one who extends the rainbow in its totality. Often the words (attributes) Mpungu, Nene, Mpungu Tulendo, are attributed to Nzambi. Mpungu comes from Mungu which means sky (compare mongo: high mountain). Nzambi Mpungu Tulendo could be translated as: “The Almighty Distributor of Light in the Sky (the High)”. This Nzambi name is the same as Chambi, which the ancestors of the Bakongo kept when they left the country of Chari in southern Sudan. This name has been preserved by several tribes who went from Chari to Central West Africa. We meet him also among the Bateke and the Herero. Nzambi Mpungu lives in the sky. Nobody created it. “Nzambi is the largest, the oldest, we are all small and weak. Nzambi is in heaven, say the Bakongo. In myths, Nzambi Mpungu is mentioned as the Creator God of all things. He created the sky, the earth, the mountains, the rivers, the forests. He created the wild animals and also created the man with clay. The proverbs, which are as old if not older than the myths, speak of Nzambi. They are not very numerous, but this can be explained by the fact that the name of God, Nzambi, was taboo in the old days and could not be used in everyday conversation. Nevertheless, the proverbs, even few, are of great importance when we try to understand the belief of the Bakongo in a Supreme God, Nzambi, and his relationship with man and the worship of fetishes? Some of these rituals are found only in the ritual of nganga nkisi (priest of the nkisi) when he treats the sick; they express the belief of the people concerning the limited value of the nkisi and the important part that Nzambi, the Supreme Being. No god-nkisi could cure the sick if Nzambi did not treat them at the same time

Taboos, Totemism and Devotion of Nkisi

The Bakongo believe that all of nature is filled with a mysterious energy that man can use to strengthen his own vitality. These mysterious forces can, however, also become dangerous to the clan, tribe or individual. The man must try to appease these dangerous forces, which can be done by following the rules of the following taboos: you will not do this or that, touch or eat this or that, etc.


Many of these mysterious things in reverence are taboo, such as certain foods, certain animals, certain plants, and some things all considered to be filled with power and can be dangerous to society or to the individual. The “priest”, the diviner, the chief are taboo and others may become taboo in certain circumstances and on certain occasions. Examples: the body, the warrior, the hunter and the fisherman. There are also taboos inside many social institutions like marriage, etc. Things that are taboo become so because of their nature or through prohibitions by priests.
The taboo of fear is used to strengthen power. For example, the leader’s orders must be obeyed since the leader is taboo. In this same example, we see that fear is the foundation of obedience.
When we examine the conception of taboos, we enter very deeply into the nature of primitive religion, more than in many other areas of their beliefs. The taboo is not only a dangerous thing, it is also considered contagious, something separate, sanctified. In the conception of taboos, we also find the beginning of the notion of saint and defiled. It is sometimes difficult to say which is indicated. The taboo makes it clear to the native what is good and what is wrong, what is supernatural and hence must be feared, observed and obeyed in order to avoid misfortune as well as subsequent fines, so that the disaster can be distant. The taboo is called nlongo among the Bakongo and it is the best word to express the idea of “put aside”, “discarded”, something that cannot be eaten or used. If the taboo is violated, the culprit becomes dishonoured. The opposite of taboo is the ordinary, something that can be freely used. The word nlongo should not be used as holy in the sense of “pure”, saints, “Holy Spirit”, it is the word Vedila that should be used, which means “to be pure”. The Bakongo say that nlongo, taboo, is a commandment, a prohibition through which they protect the body, the village, the animals, that is to say on the condition that they obey all taboos. The reason why taboos are imposed is to ensure well-being and luck. Those who strictly follow the rules of bunlongo are lucky on earth and will be well received by ancestors in the world of the dead. Violating the rules of taboos will have the opposite effect. The ancestors are the guardians of the taboos, and it is from them that the punishment will come if they are not observed. There are other commandments, rules and laws among the Bakongo, which are not taboos. There is a clear difference in the vocabulary between violating taboos and violating other laws. To violate the commandments or the laws, they speak of “killing” the law or “lowering” the law kulula mwina; but to violate taboos, they use the word “rendering soiled”, “impure”, “polluted” sumuna. It is this word that has been adopted by Christian teaching for the verb “to sin”, the noun being sumu or more exactly disumu, the plural being masumu. Taboos are absolute and cannot be altered. There is no excuse if they are violated. We are guilty and we feel guilty. As soon as someone is consecrated to nkisi with his taboos, he has put a very heavy burden on his conscience through a law that must be respected. Thus is born the feeling of responsibility. When someone breaks the rules, he feels guilty and stays until the reparation has taken place through the sacrifices.


Real totemism – in the sense of an animal, a plant, etc. special magic for each individual, family or clan – is not common among the Bakongo. A father, however, can tell his child, indicating a certain animal: “This is your kinkonko (totem) protect it well, do not send it to the village to steal the roosters because it could be killed and the therefore you will die too”
According to the Bakongo belief, animals have, besides special qualities, a hidden inner life, nsala, that man can take and incorporate into his soul in order to strengthen it and prolong his life. They call it bonga kibulu (take the power, soul or vitality of the animal) or bonga kinkonko (take an animal as protector). These animals are also called kitutzi, animals of transformation, of the verb kituka, to change. The master of such a kitutzi can be transformed into the shape of this animal. This one can be sent to the enemies to hurt them. All kinkonko animals have a certain power of nkisi and can even be revealed to a person in a dream to guide and help him.
The belief that animals have an inner life, we find in the following proverb: “The sleeping animal is not killed.” Kialeka ka kivondwanga ko. During the hunt, if the Bakongo find a sleeping animal, they should never kill it during its sleep. They must first wake him up. It is not useful to kill the sleeping animal since the animal will not die because the inner life (the soul) may not be there.
Help and protection of a kinkonko are acquired through magic rites. The father of a child makes a small incision on the child and on the animal chosen as kinkonko. If it is not possible to catch the animal, such as a leopard or an elephant, you can only take a piece of skin from that animal and make the incision on it. The soul of the child will, therefore, have a close connection with this animal. The life of the animal now depends on that of the child and vice versa. If one dies, the other will die too.
Often the leopard is the kinkonko of a clan, and then people think there should be a good relationship between this animal and the clan. If the leopard kills someone from the clan, the victim would be considered guilty of witchcraft, kindoki. The leopard then takes it to avenge the bad deeds of this ndoki; so a proverb says, “If the leopard takes you, you have a curse.” Ngo vo ukubakidi, diambu diena yaku.
Another proverb related to totemism says: “If you blame the leopard, also blame the dog, because the intention of the dog is bad”. Weti semba ngo fwiti semba mbwa, kadi lukanu lwa mbwa lwambi. The reasoning logic is that the dog and the leopard fought during the hunt. This is not only the fault of the leopard, it is also the fault of the dog who had his share of responsibility in the quarrel. One must be careful and not say anything bad or insulting the kinkonko of the clan.


The so-called cult of nkisi (incorrectly fetishism) is, according to Laman, a kind of ancestor devotion that preserves the soul of man and protects him against disease. The nkisi can even cure a sick person. The nkisi is worshiped and must be thanked by sacrifices when help is received.
What is nkisi? The constituent elements of the cult of nkisi among the Bakongo are:
1) The word nkisi belongs to the semi-personal class (n-mz) and consists of two parts:
a) the body, cooking pot or carved figure, carapace or antelope horn or a combination of several of these objects that contain drugs (powerful objects that will be described below);
b) nkuyu, the ghost that is caught and tied to the nkisi by nganga nkisi, the nkisi priest.
2) Nkisi was given to men by Nzambi and he is powerless without the blessing and help of Nzambi. The nganga nkisi says, therefore, when he treats a sick person: “Treat the inside, I treat the outside”. Buka mu kati, yabuka ku mbazi. The meaning is that the nganga, with his medication, treats the patient outside, while Nzambi, the Supreme God, treats on the inside, that is, ultimately, realizes the actual healing. Another proverb says, “When you are treated, be treated with God”. Wabuku, buku ye Nzambi. And another proverb again: “The Nganga who treats is Nzambi Mpungu”. Nganga ibukanga i Nzambi. This is an interesting aspect of the nkisi cult that shows the Bakongo belief that Nzambi is taking an active part in their lives.
3) The status of nganga is also very important. The nganga must follow the taboos, otherwise the power of the nkisi will be lost. The nkisi lose their power as soon as the nganga who made them dies. It is thus clear that several important elements enter the cult of nkisi.
1) First there is a concentration of powers in the body, the pot, the carapace or the horn of antelope. These objects are not put in at random, but according to the composition law of each particular nkisi. These powerful objects, or more precisely these objects of power, can be clay, leaves of certain trees, roots, leopard nails, heads of snakes, copal, mushrooms (diba, who forgets), coal, beans, bird’s head, ntoyo, parrot feathers, etc.

Hundreds items such as those just enumerated are used in the many different minkisi Bakongo. The combination is always the same for the same nkisi. This arrangement has a scientific basis and is not a hazardous combination, as many European researchers have thought. All objects are considered to be filled with energy to varying degrees. This is the dynamic aspect of the nkisi cult.
3) The help and blessing of Nzambi Mpungu, the Supreme God, must follow the treatment. Nzambi Mpungu gave minkisi to men and he works through them for their protection and healing.
4) The priest and the patient must both strictly respect certain taboos so that the nkisi can provide the expected help.
5) They must use the blood of roosters sacrificed if the nkisi is to intervene. Sometimes the rooster is killed and his blood offered to the nkisi. For a smaller nkisi, just cut the crest of the cock and drop a few drops of blood on the nkisi. Other items such as corn, peanuts, animal skin and bones, pieces of cloth, may be offered as well. They are placed in the nkisi’s packet or suspended on the idol.
6) Invocations and prayers are addressed to the nkisi. This is done according to specific rites with songs and the repetition of certain formulas and the execution of the dances.
It is said that the first nkisi came from Mentete, that is, the first being Nzambi, the Nzambi descended from heaven. He has revealed and taught how nkisi should be made and used. The minkisi have thus received their power and their power of Mentete.
However, it has been proven that nkisi does not protect and always heals. This is why a proverb says, “The little deceptive things made by Nzambi”. Bimpuna-mpuna biavanga Nzambi. Nkisi is a false thing that God has made because he has no power if Nzambi himself does not come to help and heal the sick person. They treated and were treated (but were not cured). Babuka bukama. This proverb also recalls how people view the nkisi.
The nkisi is in close relationship with its maker, the nganga: “The honor of nkisi is when the nganga is alive”. Kembo dia nkisi, nganga bu kena kimoyo. When the nganga who made and consecrated nkisi dies, he loses all his power. It’s only as long as the one who made it is alive.
The nkisi cannot provide a new capability to its owner, but it can strengthen, expand or develop existing capabilities.


The nganga is a taboo character that should not be teased: “If you are a nganga, we do not point the finger.” Wakala unganga, kusongwa nlembo ko. This is also true for the nkisi itself. In the presence of nkisi, people are shy and submissive. “When nakongo (nkist) is gone, the beds (the sick) are healed.” Nakongo wele, ntanda minieki. This means that when the nkisi is withdrawn, people (actually patients) become talkative. Nobody dares to offend the nkisi or nganga nkisi in their presence. If they must be insulted, this must be done when they cannot hear the insults. “Nakongo eats the feces, it’s out of the way (you’ll say that)”. Nakongo dia tuvi, i kuna nenga.
The priest is considered by the Bakongo to be a very stingy and unscrupulous person. It is better to have to do with him as little as possible, since he always seeks to take the goods of others. They (the Bakongo) say to the Nganga of the village: “Do not look behind, look ahead, because behind there is no one left”. Kutadi ku manima ko. Tala ku ntwala, kadi ku manima ka kwasalani bantu ko. They exhort him not to treat in his own village, otherwise he will make his own people poor. It is better to see him look after in other villages, to bring back goods in his own village.
Since people know that nganga are stingy, they try to deceive them. So a proverb says “If you avoid nganga, is this the end of the disease? Walwenga Nganga. Mabela mawidi e? The nganga must be fine, otherwise he will lose his fees. This exhortation seems unnecessary since, in principle, it forces people to pay for its services. “The diviner is not ashamed.” Nganga ngombo kafo; anga nsoni ko. It is prudent to pay the nganga ngombo, otherwise it can kill the patient. A proverb says, “They pretend to heal, while they choke.” Buka bana buka, kiongo nieminanga.
The Nganga heals the patient so that the patient dies if he does not get a good fee. It is also good for people to know the nganga’s “tricks” so they are alert. “If you walk with the nganga, know his stuff; if you ignore them, he will eat you. ” Wakiba ye nganga, zaba fu biandi; vo kuzebi bio ko, ukudidi.


When the Bakongo suspect that there is a ndoki (sorcerer) in the village who is secretly eating people, they send for the Ngongo Ngongo, the diviner, to look for the culprit. He has many ways and means to identify him. One of these means is indicated in the following proverb: “Whoever answers the Nganga question knows something”. Watambulanga mafina my nganga, diambu zeyi. Bahelele explains this proverb as follows: “When the Nganga tries, by his many things, to discover the ndoki, he gathers the whole family of the patient. He tells them several short stories. The next day, he brings the family together again, saying: “I only told you short stories, but I have not told you the name of the culprit yet.” Someone in the family will feel that one of the stories is aimed at him, and he will say something to avoid any suspicion about him. Whoever speaks in this way will immediately be pointed out as suspected witchcraft, kindoki.
Sorcerers are hugely feared by people. They are supposed to have the power to “eat” the vitality of others. This is supposed to happen especially at night when the soul of the ndoki goes out in search of his prey. The person who is eaten will have nightmares and bad dreams. “Nloko a mfina (nkisz) replies, have you strangled me? Nloko a mjina tom bu / a wo, ngeye wizi kumjin’e? The wizards, bandoki, are terribly feared: “One never keeps a sick person in the house of a ndoki”. Nzo a ndoki ka yikebulwanga mbevo ko.
Some animals are considered to be the harbinger of certain accidents or death. Among these animals can be mentioned the jackal, the owl, the ntoyo (bird Coccystes Jacobinus) and so on. “All the other birds can sing, but if the ntoyo sings, there is a misfortune.” Nuni zazo zazonza kwandi, kansi ntoyo kamana zonza, diambu kabeki. The ntoyo is a bird that presages bad events, so the Bakongo say of someone who has the ability to bewitch people: “You have the mouth of the ntoyo”. Nwa wa ntoyo wayaku.



  • Bembe
  • Dondo
  • Kamba
  • Hangala
  • Kongo Boko
  • Kugni
  • Lari
  • Manyanga
  • Mikéngé /N’Kéngé
  • Suundi
  • Bavili
  • Yombe


  • Ba lemfu
  • Ba manianga
  • Ba mbanza manteke
  • Ba mbata
  • Ba mboma
  • Ba ndibu
  • Ba ntandu
  • Ba solongo
  • Ba woyo
  • Ba Wumbu
  • Ba yaka
  • Ba yombe
  • Ba zombo
  • Besi Ngombe
  • Kwakongo/Kuakongo


  • Ba Solongo
  • Ba woyo
  • Besi Songo
  • Besi Nova Caipemba
  • Bandamba
  • Kisaka Ndika
  • Besi Zanza
  • Besi Nsonso
  • Ban’kanda
  • N’solongo
  • Yombe
  • Ba Sansala
  • Ba Zombo
  • Besi Bembe
  • Ba Fiote
  • Ba SanzaPombo


  • Ba vili