10 Pages

INTRODUCTION: World Process and the Production of Culture

The area in question was called the Lower Congo at the end of the 19th century. The study covers both sides of the Congo River from its mouth to Malebo Pool, where to day's Kinshasa and Brazzaville are situated. Today it embraces the Lower Zaire, in Zaire, and adjacent areas in the southern part of People's Republic of the Congo and the northern part of Angola. The last chapter, on cannibalism, also takes up material from the northern and eastern parts of Zaire. "Congo» refers in this text usually to the larger Central African region that is traversed by the Congo river while "Kongo» refers to an ethnic and linguistic group living in the Lower Congo. The word "Kongo» can be used in a narrow way to designate only one of the culturally and linguistically related groups in the area. However, in order to make it less complicated and confused, I will include in this category all the matrilineal groups that inhabited {and inhabit} the Lower Congo and the southern part of the People's Republic of Congo, including the Loango coast.