Kingdom of Congo
Built about almost 600 years ago, the Kingdom of Congo is located in the Atlantic coasts in west central Africa and existed about for more than half a millennium. The Kingdom of Congo had a lot of small towns and villages, which was rules by the local officials chosen by the higher officials. Also the hierarchy between these towns were determined by the size of their town of village. Overall, kingdom was consisted of six provinces (Mpemba, Mbata, Nsundi, Mpangu, Mbemba and Soyo) that was each ruled by monarchs. Above all, there was a king called Manikongos that ruled all those provinces, the king. The way that they elected their kings was by election in Royal Councils, and after the king was elected, he had an absolute power. There were several important factors that helped the kingdom of Congo to be in a powerful status in the west central Africa. First, their country is mainly consisted of Savannah and woodland, which was very fertile and habitable situation compared to other parts of Africa. This made the population dense, and agriculture very successful. With these advantages, they could rise into a dominant situation in the central west Africa. Ancient Kongo religion had to with importance of dead ancestors. It seemed that they believed in magic figures like ancestral guardians and strange beings trapped inside of charms. Although they were deep into their belief of this, the kingdom of Kongo became a Christian kingdom in the 1500’s because of Portuguese Christian missionaries. Even though the Portuguese did betray them, the people of Kongo are still Christian and are strong in their belief towards magic. The kingdom of Kongo’s art style mainly seemed to be with pottery, but they had a purpose behind theirs. It was called Nsiki and Nsiki are containers like ceramic vessels, gourds, animal horns, or shells that held spirits and could be used to communicate with the dead. Nsiki were shaped often like animals and humans and were used in divine practices like healing or good fortune. Overall, Kingdom of Kongo was well developed and well structured society that lasted very long.