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Being Colonized: The Kuba Experience in Rural Congo, 1880-1960 (Africa and the Diaspora)
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Learn more - opens in new window or tab Seller information book-plaza See all book-plaza has no other items for sale. For additional information, see the Global Shipping Program terms and conditions - opens in a new window or tab Delivery: Estimated between Mon. Seller posts within 15 days after receiving cleared payment - opens in a new window or tab. Brand new: A new, unread, unused book in perfect condition with no missing or damaged pages. What was it like to be colonized by foreigners? Highlighting a region in central Congo, in the center of sub-Saharan Africa, Being Colonized places Africans at the heart of the story.
In a richly textured history that will appeal to general readers and students as well as to scholars, the distinguished historian Jan Vansina offers t just accounts of colonial administrators, missionaries, and traders, but the varied voices of a colonized people.
Vansina uncovers the history revealed in local news, customs, gossip, and even dreams, as related by African villagers through archival documents, material culture, and oral interviews. Vansina's case study of the colonial experience is the realm of Kuba, a kingdom in Congo about the size of New Jersey--and two-thirds the size of its colonial master, Belgium.
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- UW Press - : Being Colonized: The Kuba Experience in Rural Congo, –, Jan Vansina.
The experience of its inhabitants is the story of colonialism, from its earliest manifestations to its tumultuous end. Though there were no specific laws imposing racial segregation and barring blacks from establishments frequented by whites, de facto segregation operated in most areas.
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Hospitals, department stores and other facilities were often reserved for either whites or blacks. In the Force Publique , black people could not pass the rank of non-commissioned officer. This type of segregation began to disappear gradually only in the s, but even then the Congolese remained or felt treated in many respects as second-rate citizens for instance in political and legal terms.
The paternalistic ideology underpinning colonial policy was summed up in a catch-phrase used by Governor-General Pierre Ryckmans —46 : Dominer pour servir "Dominate to serve". Only in the s did this paternalistic attitude begin to change. In the s the most blatant discriminatory measures directed at the Congolese were gradually withdrawn among these: corporal punishment by means of the feared chicote —Portuguese word for whip. Congolese resistance against colonialism was widespread and took many different forms. From the end of the Second World War until the late s, the so-called " Pax belgica " prevailed.
Until the end of colonial rule in , passive forms of resistance and expressions of an anti-colonial sub-culture were manifold e. Apart from active and passive resistance among the Congolese, the colonial regime over time also elicited internal criticism and dissent. Already in the s, certain members of the Colonial Council in Brussels among them Octave Louwers voiced criticism regarding the often brutal recruitment methods employed by the major companies in the mining districts.
The stagnation of population growth in many districts—in spite of spectacular successes in the fight against endemic diseases such as sleeping sickness—was another cause for concern. Low birth rates in the countryside and the depopulation of certain areas were typically attributed to the disruption of traditional community life as a result of forced labour migration and mandatory cultivation.
The missions and certain territorial administrators also played an important role in the study and preservation of Congolese cultural and linguistic traditions and artefacts. One example among many is that of Father Gustaaf Hulstaert — , who in created the periodical Aequatoria devoted to the linguistic, ethnographic and historical study of the Mongo people of the central Congo basin.
Jan Vansina, First Edition
In the early s, political emancipation of the Congolese elites, let alone of the masses, seemed like a distant event. But, it was clear that the Congo could not forever remain immune from the rapid changes that, after the Second World War , profoundly affected colonialism around the world. The independence of the British, French and Dutch colonies in Asia shortly after had little immediate effect in the Congo, but in the United Nations pressure on Belgium as on other colonial powers increased.
Belgium had ratified article 73 of the United Nations Charter , which advocated self-determination, and both superpowers put pressure on Belgium to reform its Congo policy. However, the Belgian government tried to resist what it described as 'interference' with its colonial policy. Colonial authorities discussed ways to ameliorate the situation of the Congolese.
To this end "deserving" Congolese could apply for a proof of "civil merit", or, one step up, 'immatriculation' registration , i. To acquire this status, the applicant had to fulfill strict conditions monogamous matrimony, evidence of good behaviour, etc. This policy was a failure.
By the mids, there were at best a few thousand Congolese who had successfully obtained the civil merit diploma or been granted "immatriculation". It became increasingly evident that the Belgian government lacked a strategic long-term vision in relation to the Congo. Baudouin took a close interest in the Congo. On the occasion of his visit, King Baudouin openly endorsed the Governor-General's vision of a "Belgo-Congolese community"; but, in practice, this idea progressed slowly.
At the same time, divisive ideological and linguistic issues in Belgium, which heretofore had been successfully kept out of the colony's affairs, began to affect the Congo as well.