Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-vi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-x

Research for this book has taken me to four continents and would not have been possible without the generous support of Harvard University’s Department of History of Art and Architecture, the Région Martinique, the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA), the Arquivos Nacional da Torre do Tombo...

Contents

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pp. xi-xii

List of Illustrations

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pp. xiii-xx

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Introduction

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pp. 1-20

Central African warriors stage a martial dance in the shadow of a church and a monumental cross (see Figure 2, Plate 1). Mourners at a funeral surround a catafalque with incense, Catholic hymns, and animal offerings (see Figure 18, Plate 10). A friar blesses a wedding under a veranda in front of an African crowd dressed in luxurious textiles...

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1. Sangamentos

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pp. 21-64

A vociferous crowd of men armed with swords and shields march across an open plaza toward a modest church (Figure 2 [Plate 1]). The beat of a long drum, the chime of a marimba, and the blow of two ivory horns orchestrate the group’s acrobatic steps. In rhythm, the bare- chested dancers swing large swords, raise shields of diff erent shapes...

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2. Under the Sign of the Cross in the Kingdom of Kongo

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pp. 65-108

At the feet of a monumental cross installed in front of a church, a Capuchin friar, in full ecclesiastical garb, presides over the offi ce of the dead in eighteenth- century Kongo (Figure 18, Plate 10). The friar and two mestres, interpreters for the Capuchins and local leaders of the church, sing the service from a book...

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3. The Fabric of Power, Wealth, and Devotion

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pp. 109-172

A crowd of men clad in colorful fabrics, weapons held high, marches downhill from the outskirts of a town toward a Capuchin friar and his retinue (Figure 42 [Plate 17]). Their richly attired leader walks one step in front of the group in the shade of a red umbrella that an attendant diligently holds above his head. The shade, the attentive servant...

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4. Negotiating Time and Space

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pp. 173-214

Dance, regalia, objects of devotion, liturgy, and mythology come together in the sangamento and the funeral ceremony vividly recorded in Bernardino d’Asti’s vignettes in the “Missione in prattica” (see Figures 2 [Plate 1] and 18 [Plate 10]). Framed in a space that a church and a monumental cross render visibly Christian...

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5. From Catholic Kingdom to the Heart of Darkness

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pp. 215-266

In 1866, Joseph Poussot, missionary of the French Congregation of the Holy Spirit under the protection of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (C.S.Sp.), known as the Spiritans, visited the region of Soyo as his order initiated its Congo mission. The Spiritans took up the apostolic prefecture the Capuchins had left vacant since their forced departure...

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Conclusion

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pp. 267-272

From the arrival of Europeans on their shores circa 1500 to the unraveling of their kingdom in the late nineteenth century, the people of the Kongo embraced the novelties that a widening world brought to their shores. Eyewitness accounts in written and visual form and locally craft ed artworks testify to the sophisticated reflection...

Index

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pp. 273-283