Wikijunior:Ancient Civilizations/Kongo

What country did they live in?


The Kongo civilization was located in what is now Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of the Congo, and Gabon.

What did their buildings look like?


Buildings were built primarily with local materials. The Portuguese introduced stone buildings.

What did they eat?


The food of The Congo is principally the products of their environment. Because there is plenty of the vegetation, allows it to be varied and rich, but the basic ingredients are cassava (a tuber rich in starch where the tapioca is obtained and it should be cooked before it's ate because when is freshly collected is poisonous), banana and plantains (for frying) and peanut butter. The favorite drink in the Congo is beer. Pepper and cassava are present in most of the local dishes, like chicken piri piri with pepper. Another typical dish is the chicken mohambe cooked with palm oil. Fish and shellfish are also consumed in the coastal zone.

What do they wear?


In their famous party and dance called the Devil and Congos of Portabello, women and man now dress like this:

  • Man's clothing:

The clothes are old and they wear it the other way around, giving a comic effect. The strings and ribbons mean the chains of slavery and their favourite objects are stored in bags. It complements the dress with a conical hat and cane.

  • Women's clothing:

The women wear colorful skirts, has make up and puts some flowers in her hair.

In this ceremony there is also the devil, the angel and the bird.

What did their writing look like?


Today they speak over 200 languages, French is now the official language, but is also spoken by many of its residents and area businesses. They also now write in Mandombe.

What did they believe?


The main religions were the Kongo religion and Roman Catholicism. For a little time Antonianism developed from Roman Catholicism.

Are some of them famous even today?


People of the Congo aren't very famous but they had some musicians like Papa Wemba, Werrasson, Koffi Olomide, Fally... The singer Kaysha...and other famous people.

What is left of them today?


Some art pieces from the Kongo civilization remain. There are also some ruins of old buildings.