African colonial schoolbooks (Belgian Congo): An anthology / by Honoré
Table of content
The importance of the texts of
colonial schoolbooks can be summarized by these words: The textbook (of the primary schools)
influenced the first knowledge of those who forced the independence of their country and took
subsequently the reins. These texts are of difficult access, because for 80% they are written
in a huge number of African languages of which little can be mastered by only one individual.
From where the importance of the translation in a language of world level This has been
realized by a translation project of 50 booklets, patronized by professor Bogumil Jewsiewicki
from the Laval University at Quebec. I thank him here for his encouragements and for his
support that permitted me to finish a first stage of a larger project. Fifty booklets could
thus be fully translated, and a few others limited to excerpts. We totalled about 2000 typed
pages (A4, single spacing). There is no question to publish them fully. So we think to make
useful work while publishing a anthology of the most characteristic texts.
The region covered by our texts is limited to the Equator and Oriental Provinces and to the
city of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. These limits have been imposed by
the collection in our possession and by the availability of translators. But I think that,
seen the common origin of the educators of that time and their dependence of the same
ecclesiastical education system and the common instructions of the colonial administration,
few fundamental variants should be recorded in the remaining part of the country. Of the point
of view of a diachronic approach, the sample is well enough balanced, from the beginning of
the colonization (the oldest quoted text is of 1908) until 1959. There remain also some
hiatuses that could have usefully explained the origin of some important texts.
Most booklets belong to collections produced by Catholic or Protestant religious Communities,
these booklets were conceived in first instance for internal use. I was not always able to
reconstitute the complete sets of the booklets of a same publisher, what would have allowed me
to follow the ideological evolution of some subjects (justification of the colonization,
concept of authority, goal of the teaching, etc...) But in a few cases, it was possible and I
have explained it in more detailed studies published elsewhere (see bibliography).
Different people have worked in
the Centre Aequatoria of Bamanya translating these African language texts (in 1994-1996). They
were native speakers or accustomed in some way to the language of the booklet. They had access
to the dictionaries and grammars of the language used in the booklet. On several occasions
most of their work has been reviewed and discussed for the parts published here. The technical
description of every booklet remains very incomplete and therefore unsatisfactory. It cannot
be completed and adjusted now without a lot of research of details to be conducted in the most
varied and remote places of the country. It is a long-term work
1. All the original texts in
African languages can be found in the Aequatoria Archives in Bamanya, Mbandaka (RDC). A typed
copy, or other original copies are in the MSC Archives in Borgerhout (Belgium) and with
Professor Bogumil Jewsiewicki in the Laval University in Quebec.
2. We indicate every document by the number of its place in the in the Jewsiewicki project.
3. In footnote, after every excerpt, we note the explanations judged appropriate for the
correct understanding of the text itself and we don't give any clarification, or corrections
of the facts or people mentioned in the text. The goal of this publication was not to write
the history of colonial Congo. So we don't correct the mistakes of dates, of names and
4. The bibliography added is not about the problem of the colonial education in Africa, but
exclusively related to edition, the existence and the role of the school books of the primary
schools in Colonial Africa, mainly in the ex Belgian Congo.
5. Each section has a short introduction.
Dict. / D. = G. Hulstaert,
Dictionnaire Lomongo-Français, Tervuren 1957
Ann.Aeq. / A.A. = Annales Aequatoria
J. = Jewsiewicki translation project
This text has been first
published in French in Annales Aequatoria 19(1998)4-166. Some corrections and additions (to
the bibliography and to the notes) have been made at the occasion of the English translation.
1. HISTORY OF THE BELGIAN CONGO
The lessons about the history
of the colonization can be arranged in 5 categories:
1. Lessons of a certain
technicality: abundance of more or less exact dates, of the names and the multiple events
relating to a global historiography of colonial Africa from the discovery by Diego Cao
2. Lessons with a mythical character of which the first objective is the glorification of the
colonizing nation and its heroes.
3. Lessons with an apologetic character, anxious to answer beforehand a certain number of
objections either expressed or presumed by the colonized.
4. Lessons reviewed according to the evolution of the colonial ideology in opposition to the
5. Romantic lessons with a description of the historic facts in literary form as news items,
epics, theatre, etc.
As for the ideological
orientation, there are few differences between Protestant and Catholic or neutral manuals. Yet
one notices a larger attention to the general African history by the Protestants.
The Arab Slave trade remains essential in the presentation of the colonial history. It is less
accentuated in the Protestant booklets. Only one text makes allusion to the "red rubber" of
It is in the historical sections that arguments are found for the justification of the
colonization: invariably, until 1960, the liberation by the Whites from the domestic wars and
the Arab Slave Trade is situated in this perspective. Here is also presented the contribution
of the civilization in its material and spiritual expressions, but often incorporated in other
lessons. Besides the insertion of some recent facts, the interpretation of the colonial
history itself and the function of its teaching, did not evolve during the whole period under
J.32: THE CONGOLESE, lesson 5, n 4 (Bonkanda wa baoci b'anto, C.B.M., Bongandanga, 1925,
1. The Congo is your country.
It is a big country, but the inhabitants of this country are not numerous, there are nearly
10.000.000 of them. Your country is called the Congo after the inhabitants of the mouth of the
big river called the Bakongo people.
2. The first who arrived to the
Congo were the Portuguese. Previously, the Portuguese were big travellers, and they travelled
through the world in search of land that of other Whites had not yet discovered. The first
White man who made the tour of the world was a Portuguese; his name is Magellan. He died
during this journey before returning to his country, but some people who accompanied him
returned to Portugal. The first person to reach the South of Africa was a Portuguese; his name
is Gama. The one who indicated to the Whites the passageway to America is the one who came
with the first Portuguese in their journeys: his name is Colombus. He himself was not a
Portuguese, but without information received from some Portuguese, the Whites would not have
looked for land on that side of the world. At that time, the Portuguese surpassed all other
Whites in the taste of travel, and they arrived in your country a long time ago.
3. The Portuguese resided
downstream close to the mouth of the Congo river, for about three hundred years, but they
didn't arrive to the inland because some wild people stopped them.
4. Previously, about fifty
years ago, a certain White of England arrived to your country, quite upstream, in Tanganyika.
This person's name is Livingstone, and all Whites respect him, because he was a gracious and
unrelenting man. He was God's most honoured pastor. He pacified the populations so that
pastors could enter in all your country.
5. Livingstone died close to
the source of the Congo river, and after his death another White man came, named Stanley, who
crossed the African continent from the East to the West. He spent three years in this
exploration, and a lot of Whites thought that he had died considering his long absence. He is
called Bula-Matadi, who descended the river from Zingitingi (1) to Kintambo (2).
6. When Stanley returned to the
countries of the Whites, all were deeply amazed by his story. He wanted that the English come
to colonize you, but they didn't want. Thereafter, he transmitted to the King of the Belgians
the fate of your country, the Congo, and he accepted to send some of his agents to teach you
to work and to acquire good manners. Some people that he sent were evil people, and behaved
badly during the rubber campaign. You do not ignore, yourselves, how the first Whites acted
7. We don't know enough on the
history of your country. We know that the Arabs had come in search of slaves, and they had
captured a lot of Congolese people upstream. They killed a lot of people, and carried away
others in slavery. The government's Whites stopped their progression upstream, close to
8. And also we know that before
the Whites arrived here, there were wars at all times. A very long time ago, a lot of people
died during the war of the Lokele (4). This war was murderous in some places, and thousands of
people were wiped out.
We think that this war finds
its origin in the fact that the Arabs fought people of upstream, and that these last swept
their anger on downstream people. To their arrival in the zones of fight, the Government's
Whites and those of the Companies put an end to this war. These Whites frequently helped you.
9. The children often ask me:
"Why are we not as intelligent as you Whites?"
10. The Whites are looking
insistently for knowledge of things that are not even discovered. This the reason for which
their intelligence does only increases, and that people give them a lot of honour. On the
other hand those people of your regions, that were more intelligent than the other, were
treated with jealousy by some other people, and some were killed either after have been
obliged to drink poison or otherwise. A lot of people died at home because of fetishes,
because the soothsayers often deceived your forebear. They ruined the best people, and
protected those that were happy with their bad practices. This is one reason why intelligence
doesn't increase in your countries. Another reason is the indolence. Some consider the latter
as the most important reason.
1. Zingitini: at the place of the present Kisangani. Other written forms: Singitini,
2. Kintao = Kintambo
3. Allusion to the abuses of the "régime léopoldien". This is the only allusion to this period
in all textbooks, with the exception of the Bosako wa Mongo of 1957.
4. The booklet was used where the Lokele had passed or got settled. Elsewhere these wars have
other names. So Hulstaert, in Buku ea Mbaanda (1935, p.80-81), speaks of etumb'eki Lofembe
J.28: THE ARRIVAL OF THE
WHITES, lesson 3 (J.E. and. E. Carpentier, Banto ba monde, C.B.M., Bongandanga, 1929, p.
The first Europeans who had
come to the Congo were Portuguese, but they limited themselves at the seashore. After, the
other people who came, tried to make enter their boats in the Congo river to reach the river
upstream, but they did not reach it because of the difference in level of the river, and
because the water flowes too quickly and had big falls. But after that, a White named Stanley
took the East side of Africa, and reached the Congo. He sailed on the Congo river until it
reached the Atlantic Ocean in the West and he went back in Europe. He told the people there
about the Congo. He went back again to the Congo accompanied of fifteen others; they arrived
by boat on the river. When they arrived to the falls, they accosted and took the road to cross
the difficult place.
When they ended up clearing the road, they retrieved their boat and transported it until
navigable places, there they gathered the pieces of the boat and embarked and left for river
Of the other side there were the Arabian merchants; they hindered the Europeans and these
European got lost in the forest. Currently, the railroad replaces the road cleared by the
Europeans on the side of the falls and the men had a good passage.
Numerous Europeans came to the Congo to look for the products which were there as: copal, oil,
rubber, palm nuts, gold, ivory and copper. (The copper is the mineral as your copper rings).
At that stage the country of the Congo belonged to Belgium, France or Portugal. You who read
this book, you are Belgians, and your administrator of the State is a Belgian. Your King is
the King of Belgium, his name it is Albert. He himself lives in Belgium; he sends his people
here to keep this beautiful country and to organize the business that is here and also to
judge some others. In the beginning you called these people Bula Matadi. It is good to respect
the authorities of the State, and their arrival in your country, brought peace and they were
your masters. They forbade the wars, the men slaughters, and other similar cases.
God's pastors have been fifty
years in the Congo. The first to come were the English and there were two missions only. The
two missions called Palabala and San Salvador. Now, there is a multitude of missions and they
are about a hundred of them, and Jesus' disciples are thousands and thousands.
The Evangelists came especially from Belgium, England, France, Sweden and America. The
Congolese have access at schools to study this problem. The Whites of the schools and others,
taught us hard works and wisdom and now some Blacks are employed to other works and became
printers, carpenters, even engineers, mechanics, nurses, woodworkers and numerous are
catechists and teachers and are found in any kind of work.
J 30: SOME STORIES ON THE
BELGIAN CONGO (Bonkanda wa nsango, C.B.M., Bongandanga, 1930, p.141-149).
"Belgian Congo" is the name of our country. The Belgian Congo is situated in Africa. What is
told in this book is not imagination. It is a true history. Several narrations exist on the
Belgian Congo. A very small portion is related here. The author's goal is to make sure that
the inhabitants of the Belgian Congo know some episodes of the history of their own country,
because we all who live here, are under the authority of Belgium, and have the king of
Belgium, i.e. Albert, is also our King. He agrees that we are informed of the events that took
place here, in order to understand what happens presently. Some narrations told took place
here a very long time ago; some others afterwards. The author hopes to publish another book
subsequently with more episodes (1). This book is only an introduction and a complementary
volume will follow.
In 1482 or 1484, a Portuguese
named Dom Diego Cao, sailed to the Congo River in search of prospects and ivory. He was
informed of the existence of the King of Kongo, whose capital was in Mbanza Kongo. He didn't
arrive there, but had only been informed about it, and then he went back to Portugal,
accompanied of some Congolese. After having listened to the report of Diego, the King of
Portugal sent in 1490 a emissary named Roderigo de Souza, to the King of Kongo. Catholic
missionaries accompanied him to preach the Word of Yahweh-God to the Congolese. In 1492, the
King of Kongo accepted their religion, and became an adept of it. People associated to him in
the faith, but their faith in God was only the effect of a mass movement, without depth.
In 1534 a cathedral was built in their capital which carried henceforth another name, San
Salvador. In 1549, other missionaries named the Jesuits came to create there a mission
station. 21 years later, a dangerous people came to fight the inhabitants of San Salvador.
These were the Jagga. They live on the sides of the Kwango, an affluent of the Kwa. They
burned the cathedral and other churches, and displaced the natives. The inhabitants of San
Salvador fled with their King and take refuge on an island.
When this news arrived in Portugal, they sent an expedition of 600 heavily armed soldiers to
push the Jagga out of the country of the King of the Kongo. A short time after, they built a
new cathedral and restored the capital.
At this time the Portuguese didn't have any possibilities to navigate upstream. They stopped
in Manyanga. The information on the upstream was scarce. All regions toward the Stanley Pool
were called "the village of Makoko". The Portuguese learned that upstream lived a big chief,
but they could not reach the place because of some big rapids which were situated there. They
penetrated the country however by the East of San Salvador and reached the rivers Kwango and
Kasai. There they stopped.
Then another White named David Livingstone, of Scottish origin, arrived to travel in Africa.
He was a Missionary of the Lord Jesus. He had come to explore less known regions of inner
Africa. Then the Whites assigned him the mission of exploring of the country. At the time of
his explorations in 1867, he reached the source of the Congo called Luapula, and in 1871, he
discovered an affluent named Lualaba. He himself thought that the Lualaba was the source of
the Nile, the river of Egypt.
Livingstone died very close to
Ilala, near Chitambo, a region on the banks of the Bangwelo Lake. But he himself didn't know
that the river that leaves from this lake was the source of the Congo. People of Europe only
knew it after his death.
The one that had presented the Congo well to the Whites of Europe was Stanley. He is the first
White that travelled by coming down the Congo River. Stanley had come before in Africa in
search of Livingstone whom the Whites believed had been lost in the big forest. Stanley met
him in Udjidji, in the region of the Tanganyika Lake in 1872. At the time of his following
visit, Stanley wanted to cross Africa by the East. And he landed in Zanzibar (very close to
the Indian ocean) in November 1874, and began his long journey. He crossed all regions and all
big forests, coming out again at Udjidji in May 1876. From there, Stanley went Westward and
arrived at Nyangwe. This place is very close to the region of the Lualaba River. On his
arrival, he confronted numerous dangerous and anthropophagous people. He realized the presence
of the Arabs in the vicinity. And he noticed that they took some Congolese in slavery.
After two years of exploration, Stanley discovered the true the Congo River. No one had gone
beyond Nyangwe to descend this river. Arriving there, he learned the awful news from
downstream. If he was a coward, he would remain upstream there. But he wanted to discover all
aspects of the Congo, and was not afraid of ferocious people. He decided to descend the river.
He first tried to pass by foot, but this was too arduous. He arrived at the Maniema, and
abandoned the footpaths. He took a pirogue, and decided to descend as far as possible until
reaching the ocean. No White had travelled this way before him, and it was a terrifying
exploration for him. Stanley was a courageous man.
The coming down of the river lasted 4 months. He passed by more than 20 mouths of rivers, and
arrived at the big lake now named Stanley Pool. Arrived to this place, the way by water became
impossible considering the whirlpools. The coming down of the river was close to cost him his
life. Some peoples had fought and hunted him while shouting at him: "Beast, beast". They
wanted to kill him and to eat him openly. Sometimes Stanley went to hide in the hollows of
trees. People of the Congo had not seen a White man yet and as they saw him crossing their
river, they wanted to kill it.
It is only by his arrival at the Stanley Pool that he was at peace. But he had suffered a lot
because of the non-navigability of the river. He abandoned the river and dragged behind him
the canoes as far as arriving to the places where there were no rapids where he could tahe
again the pirogues. This happened time and again until the moment came where he finished the
non-navigable sections. The Blacks that came with him behaved well. Some drowned during the
journey. All were starved awfully. Some became so skinny that they could not work anymore.
Stanley thought that he would never manage it, but he arrived to Isangila in July 1877 after a
lot of efforts and perseverance. From there, he abandoned the canoes because his men became
weaken by the illnesses. They took a footpath and reached Boma without difficulties. There he
took a rest. Then, he, and his men regained strength. The exploration covered a distance of
11.200 kilometres and lasted 3 years.
Stanley returned to Europe to tell the odyssey of the Congo. The Whites of Europe were
impressed by his story and sent people to work here. Since then, the Whites arrived
numerously. Stanley came back here several times, and worked a lot.
In 1891, two Whites came to construct the railroad, from Matadi to Stanley Pool. Their names
are Cambier and Thys. It was a very dangerous and deadly work. The whites imported workers
from China, because they didn't last because of the heat, and even the Blacks were not
accustomed to it. The work of the railroad began in 1891 and took an end in 1898. Several
Whites and their workers died. Paving the way, levelling the hills, and breaking the stones,
was a very arduous task. In spite of all, the men persevered and finished the work. The money
of the Whites was invested in this railroad, because without railroad the Whites could not
have brought their intelligence and their culture to the Congo. We congratulate these
persistent people. They accomplished an impressive work. This railroad measures 400 kilometres
At their arrival in the Congo, the Whites found some Arab Batambatambas. Their objective was
to catch slaves. The Congolese of upstream suffered a lot from the Arabs. They came from the
East and in 1830, they had created a big station at Tabora, and from there they entered the
Congo. Then they destroyed several villages and put the Congolese into slavery. They deported
them to the East.
At the time of his exploration, Livingstone had seen the slaves captured by the Arabs, and
learned that 40.000 slaves were deported to Zanzibar. On his way, he saw the skeletons and the
bones of the slaves who had died during the journey, even in every village that he visited.
In 1870, the Whites of Europe met for a big Conference and decided to end the slaves trade on
the oriental coast of Africa, as on the western coast. The Whites sent their war boats to the
banks of the ocean for the application of this decision. But the slavery didn't finish in
Africa and the Arabs continued to capture as many slaves as they wanted. In 1879, a White,
Captain Storms tempted to stop the Arabs in Tanganyika. The Whites of the Independent State of
the Congo also decided to put an end to the slave trade in the Congo. It is why in 1888
another Conference, so-called The Antislavery Society, was held in Brussels. It treated on the
slavery in the Congo and put some Whites in charge to collaborate with the Whites of the State
to fight the slavery.
Tippo Tip was the Arab whom the Whites had made a Governor of the region close to Stanley's
Falls. In the beginning, the Arabs wanted to submit to the authority of the Whites. But seeing
that there was no way to continue with the slave trade, because of the Whites, they changed
their minds and wanted to fight the Whites. Tippo Tip using ruse pretended to buy weapons and
munitions with the very money of the State. The Whites began the war against the Arabs and
created some stations for that purpose, one close to the Stanley's Falls, another in Basoko,
and another again in Lusambo, in the Sankuru. The war took place from May 1892 to January
1894. A famous White at the time, was Baron Dhanis. He and his soldiers attacked the domain of
an Arab named Gongo Lutete. And when Sefu, the son of Tippo Tip, tried to cross the Lomami
with his soldiers, Dhanis neutralized him. Baron Dhanis only arranged 400 soldiers. He pursued
the Arabs until their last stopping place in Nyangwe that he occupied. He fought them and
pushed them back until Albertville. The Whites won this war and since then the Arabs stopped
with their nastiness and lived quietly.
Other wars took place between the people of river upward themselves. One started by the Lokole
and went toward the big river (2). Then a village took vengeance on another village. The war
reached faraway regions. People of river upward escaped this war and abandoned their usual
dwellings. This war didn't reach the villages of the Ngombe. It got round them.
Elsewhere a war named "The war of the dog" took place (3). But it didn't last a long time.
The former wars caused a serious extermination of the population of the Congo. Before the
arrival of the Whites the inhabitants of the Congo fought themselves for no reason. They were
quarrelsome. Now, the Whites put an end to the wars and whoever dared to make war would have a
Our sovereign is King Albert. Long before his investiture he was conscious of the realities
from here. And he wished to see the Congo with his own eyes so that once to the throne, he
could judge himself the files on the Congo, and thus improve its situation. That is why, in
1909, he went everywhere to be informed of every thing. Currently he doesn't any more forget
the Congo. He has people who report to him what happens here, and he tries to make the best of
A lot of Whites came to work here, and we the natives, get the money of them for this work
(4). The schools became numerous. The children who want to acquire intelligence can go to
study there. We notice that our fetishes (5) are not good, and the Whites brought us their
medicines to heal us of our illnesses. They constructed many hospitals everywhere in the big
centres to take care of those that suffer from serious illnesses. When the Whites noticed that
many people died of the sleep sickness (6), they tackled the problem to find a medicine.
Currently, they are stopping this illness, and numerous people begin to be healed.
In 1914, a big war exploded in several countries of Europe, and this war arrived even here by
us. This war was very distressing. Our people participated there while fighting or exercising
other functions relative to the war. This war was limited to the regions river upward, it
didn't arrive at home, but actually we heard the echoes of it, and noticed that the Whites
didn't come numerously to the Congo, because they went to the war. The white soldiers were
very violent at the time of this war. And they won the war.
And our country has not been disturbed. A lot of our Congolese died. Bullets have wounded many
others and others were affected by serious illnesses. The Whites of the State have just
erected now a big monument in memory of those that fell during the war.
The White of the State who is above all of Congo, is the General Governor. His seat is in
Leopoldville. And those who are attached to him are called 'Governors'. Every governor has a
large jurisdiction named a "province". The State divided the Belgian Congo in 5 provinces.
Here are their names: Equator Province, Oriental Province, Katanga Province, Kasaï Province,
Province of Ruanda-Urundi. These provinces are subdivided in Districts. There are 21
Districts. The Districts are composed of Territories. There are 179 Territories. (The
jurisdiction of our mission is in the Equator province). Every governor is assisted of a White
named Commissioner-General. A Commissioner leads every District. Those that are near to the
Commissioner are the Administrators. The latter direct a Territory. The Whites who make that
the law are observed are called the Judges and the Substitutes. All these Whites have been
invested in their functions by King Albert and by his Government in Belgium. Every White
Officer of the State must honour the King, and it suits each of us to do the same.
The State brought schools of all sorts to the Congo. There are 83 surgeons of the, and they
teach to some Congolese the knowledge of medicine and the manner to cure illnesses. There
exist 29 hospitals of the State. One finds 7 schools of carpenters, of masons and of clerks,
they are located in Boma, Leopoldville, Buta, Stanleyville, Elisabethville, Lusambo and
Kabinda. Some primary schools also exist for children. There are also some schools to train
the soldiers. Some Whites give training in the schools for the soldiers. In some places where
one cannot teach during the day one organizes some schools at night. When the children of the
Whites became numerous, one constructed some schools for them in Stanleyville, Elizabethville,
and Panda-Likasi. (Panda-Likasi is a big mining center).
In 1925, the King's eldest son, named Prince Leopold, travelled to the Congo to realize
personally what happened there. He is very young: he has just married a woman with whom they
had a first girl named Josephine Charlotte. Prince Leopold travelled everywhere and
appreciated the marvellous things. He succeeded to his father as King. (7)
1. It was not possible to verify if this second book has been effectively composed and
published. A history lesson close to this one in: Geography: Africa-Europe, D.C.C.M., Bolenge,
2. See note 4 and J 32
3. Etumb'ea mbwa = "Guerre du chien", associated to the migrations of the Ngombe whose effects
persist in the region where the booklet was used. Until now these appellations continue to be
4. The theme of money won by work at the Whites is everywhere in the schoolbooks. It is a
decoy to attract the Blacks to the new civilization.
5. There is an important problem of translation here. In lomongo, the word bote can have a
multitude of significances according to the context: Cfr G. Hulstaert, Dictionnaire
Lomongo-Français, p.334: medicine (also in the western sense), talisman, magic practice and
even "tree". The author applies the lomongo word in the traditional sense, and introduces the
French word "medicine" for the western sense.
6. The lomongo version writes nkangi e'aisilo, which is a literal translation of the French or
the English (illness of the sleep), but the popular term is even today mpongi. (D, 378) from
the verb - onga to sleep (D.1555).
7. We transferred the continuation of this lesson to the section "Christianisme", because it
treats the history of the Protestant Missions exclusively.
J. 51: About the Congo. Mambi
ma Botangi ndenge na ndenge; Emasanginyaki basango ba Scheut. Vicariat de Nouvel Anvers, Buku
ya basatu ya boekoli botangi Makanza (Nouvel Anvers) Edition 1932: Pères de Scheut. Lesson
My children, in your country,
known as the Congo, you will see many Whites in the Colonial Administration as well as members
of the clergy. Now you will see things that your ancestors did not see. You will see sturdy
houses; large steamers navigate on your rivers and bring European products to this country.
You will see Blacks wearing nice clothes just like Whites. Some Blacks can now read, write,
and even speak the White man's language. Your ancestors, who died long ago, did not know these
In the beginning, Whites and priests did not go to your village, except the Portugese, who a
long time ago, arrived in Boma and the surrounding villages among the Bakongo, but they did
not stay a long time. People from the Upper-River never saw a single white person.
The person who came to your region for the first time was Stanley. Forty years later, he
entered this country by Tanganyika, not by Boma. He did not take big boats like those that
pass on the river. He went down the river crossing Kasongo, Singitini, Basoko and passing
through the Sangala and the Bobangi; he arrived at Kintambo and finally stopped in Boma.
In all these villages, nobody had ever seen such a human being before. They gazed at him and
they were astonished. They talked about the white colour of his skin. Some considered him as
"coming out of water", and called him "the man from the water". Others fought him. Stanley was
a man who observed everything: villages, costums, and people. He noticed the extent of the
misery caused by the Arabs. Arabs were bad people in search of money. They came with soldiers
and arms to the country of the Blacks to fight them. They captured people: men, women and
children and returned with them on foot in caravans. They beat and killed those who were tired
and could no longer walk. The survivors were sold as slaves in the fare-away country of
Tanganyika. Listen well to this horrible story. Along the long roads where the Arabs passed,
one would find only corpses and bones (human remains). Stanley met many Arabs in Kasongo,
Nyangwe, Singitini and the surroundings. He considered the murdering of Blacks by the Arabs,
as a provocation, and he had mercy.
After he completed his voyage down the river, he returned to Europe and he reported this
horrible situation to the European authorities. The later decided to deliver Blacks from their
enslavement by Arabs.
Stanley returned to that country with other white people including soldiers. Other white
people and black soldiers, from different regions near the Ocean, joined Stanley's group and
got engaged in a war against the Arabs. Arabs were well armed and clever. European soldiers
fought many battles, which resulted in the loss of many lives. Several years later, the Arabs
were driven out of the country, then known as the Congo. The victory of the European soldiers
marked the end of the horrible Arab slave trade. If it had not been for European intervention,
people would have remained in Arab slavery even today and consequently the country, the Congo
would have fallen in the hands of the Arabs.
European authorities chose Leopold II to be the sovereign of the Congo, white he was the King
of the Belgians. Since then, white people came to the Congo in large numbers to teach black
people many things. The latter began to become educated people.
In 1888, thirty years ago, the first priests came to your country. After his resurrection,
Jesus hadsaid to his disciples: 'Go around the world and preach the good news'. 1900 years
since then, the apostles and their successors proclaimed God to mankind. Now the salvation has
reached you. Because you were the devil's slaves, God had mercy on you, and he sent his
ministers to you to make you his children. Before, there were no Christians, but now you can
see them everywhere. People used to believe in fetishes, witchcraft and sorcery, now they
believe in one God, Almighty and peaceful. Before, people used to perform satanic acts, now
they observe the Christian precepts.
Be good Christians so that pagans may follow your good deeds and convert, so that the source
of the devil may one day come to an end in your country.
J. 60: HISTORICAL NOTES ON THE
BELGIAN CONGO (Petite Géographie, F.E.C., Kinshasa, + / - 1930, 7th ed. p.13 14)
1482. Dom Diego Cao, a
Portuguese navigator arrives to the mouth of Zaire (nzadi) or the Congo river.
He erect in front of Banana, that is the tip San-Antonio, a padro or big cross in stone and a
statue of St. Georges to recall the memory of his passage.
After him, other Portuguese visited the region of the falls as far as Isangila. The
missionaries founded in the Lower Congo a Christian kingdom and gave the Capital Mbanza-Congo,
the name of San Salvador.
1491. May 1, baptism of the king of San Salvador, John 1.
1866. Livingstone arrives in the Katanga and travels in this region. He discovers the lakes
Bangwelo, Moero and Tanganyika. He travels on the Luapula and Lualaba rivers up to Nyangwe.
1871 Stanley is sent in search of Livingstone, and finds him in Udjidji, on the banks of the
Tanganyika Lake. Livingstone, although weakened and sick, refuses to return in Europe however
and dies some times after to the South of the Bangwelo Lake. 1873. Cameron leaves from
Zanzibar and crosses all Africa from the East to the West and after 2 years arrives at St.
Philippe Bengwuela, on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.
1874, Stanley makes a second expedition to Africa. He leaves from Bagamoyo and arrives at
Nyangwe; then he travels down the Congo river. After a journey of three years, he arrives at
Boma. His English mates, Parker and the two brothers Pocock, died under way, as well as more
then 250 Blacks of their escort.
1876. King Leopold II unites in his palace in Brussels a big number of explorers and
geographers. They founded a society named Association Internationale Africaine (A.I.A.). The
goal of this society was especially to bring in the Center of Africa the kindness of the
civilization and to encourage the trade.
1897. To the demand of king Leopold II, Stanley returns to the Congo.
This time, he leaves Banana; he carries along the falls until the Stanley-Pool, three small
steamers with which he explores the river up to Stanleyville.
From this moment, the expeditions increase, led by courage the Belgian officers Hanssens, Van
Gele, Coquilhat and others as well. Five years were sufficient to make in the center of Africa
a lot of marvellous explorations, to make with the indigenous chiefs more than 500 treaties of
sovereignty, and to found 40 stations.
1885. The Congo is proclaimed the "Etat Indépendant" having as its sovereign Leopold II. The
king took care with an unceasing activity of the organization of the new State which soon took
a fast development.
1894. Inauguration of the Matadi-Leopoldville railroad, result of 10 years of hard labour and
1908. October 8, the Independent State becomes a Belgian colony; its flag with the golden star
has been replaced by the flag of Belgium: red, yellow and black.
1914 to 1918. Our soldiers fight heroically and victoriously against the Germans.
Since the war, Belgium received a mandate on the territories of Ruanda and Urundi, which are
united, administratively to the Belgian Congo.
J.55: THE GOVERNMENT OF LEOPOLD II, 4th part, 1. The origins (The Abandia, Brothers of Saint
Gabriel, Bondo, 1936, p .31-34)
1. THE ORIGINS
Toward the second half of the XIXe century the European explorers penetrated more and more
towards Central Africa. As a witness of the infamies of the Arab's slavery, Christian Europe
was moved by their macabre narrations. Leopold II, the king of the Belgians, worried about
this and sent the first Whites to fight the slave traders and to free the Blacks (1876)
The following year an unexpected event occurs: An explorer, Henry Stanley, discovers the
course of the Congo river up to then unknown. Answering the invitation of Leopold II, this man
heads the Whites who are going to fight the Arabs and to establish peace treaties with the
Thought: Leopold II is a big benefactor of the Black peoples.
2. THE OCCUPATION
The penetration is made difficult by the absence of roads or of some convenient means of
transportation (1879). A lot of mates of Stanley succumb due to these difficulties joined to
the excessive climate of the Congo. No matter. The intrepid chief advances, faithful to his
double mission: the antislavery struggle, and the conclusion of the peace and trade treaties
with the natives. Bordering the river and going up the Itimbiri, the first Whites, Roget and
Milze, reach in the middle of February 1890, the Uële where Djabir reigns. The powerful master
of the Abandia gives them a sympathetic welcome, and thanks to the numerous protection and
trade advantages that the Europeans assure to him, he presents them his obedience.
Thought: Today, the roads, the navigable rivers, the railroad tracks... contribute to make the
Congo rich and prosperous.
3. THE STATION OF DJABIR
From the beginning Djabir was a precious auxiliary or the Whites. He delivers them big
quantities of ivory and rubber, in return for payment. He helps them to settle along the Uele
and founded so the "Station of Djabir", which in 1905 becomes the Station of Bondo.
Unfortunately other explorers penetrated from different sides in the country of Djabir. These
newcomers ignored all of the history of the Abandia. So the notables or even some ordinary
indigenous people presented themselves as legitimate chiefs and concluded without too many
difficulties treaties with the messengers of Leopold II.
J.57: AFRICA, lesson 32 and
lesson 33: Livingstone and Stanley, (Histoire du Monde II, D.C.C.M., Bolenge, 1940, p.98-103.
For a very long time, people
lived in the centre of Africa. The Whites thought that all natives of the Congo were Pygmies.
To those remote times some tribes of Africa, called Bantu, fought the Pygmies, and dislodged
them of some places of the Congo, so that they took their place. The Bantu were more
intelligent than the Pygmies, and because of that reason they settled definitely in the Congo,
of which they are the natives. In the 14th century, some of them regrouped in the kingdom of
the Lower the Congo (that means down-river). They had only one king. They lived on the banks
of the Congo River, to the South, and, being superior, they became the chiefs of the tribes
living near of them.
The Whites of Europe who first arrived in the Congo were the Portuguese, who looked for some
markets. These were the people of the Commercial Companies. To this time the Portuguese were
more than other Whites, fascinated to travel everywhere in the world. In 1492, some Catholic
missionaries arrived in Angola. The king of Angola believed in their religion, and became
their disciple. Some of his subjects believed in Jesus slavishly.
In 1534, a cathedral was constructed in their county capital, which they called San Salvador.
In 1549, other missionaries, the Jesuits, that is a Catholic community, created a station
there. In 1574 the Portuguese decided to take Angola, that is at the South of the Congo river,
so that it came forever under its colonization.
In 1642, the Portuguese won the war that they had fought with the Dutch about Angola, who
favoured the slave trade in Angola (1) and they had gained shares of money with them. At this
moment, the Portuguese civilization didn't arrive at the Stanley Pool (Leopoldville). A few
other things that the Portuguese brought were: cows, pigs, ducks, pepper, pineapple, sweet
potatoes, tomatoes, sugar cane and others things as well.
33. DAVID LIVINGSTONE AND
In the year 1867, David
Livingstone, from Scotland, travelled in Africa. He was a missionary and was in search of
unknown regions in Africa; he died here in Africa. After the death of Livingstone, some people
of England came to look for the place where he succumbed, very close to the Lake. The man who
taught to the Whites the nature of the Congo was Stanley. Two journalists sent him to Africa
for this expedition, so that he could explore these very unknown regions. He had come there
before, searching for Livingstone because the Whites thought that he went astray, and he met
him in Ujiji, in the Tanganyika lake in the year 1872. Stanley prepared his second expedition
to Africa from the East, reason for which he disembarked to Zanzibar (very close to the ocean
Indian) in November 1874.
After two years, Stanley discovered the very Congo River. Although he suffered a lot at the
time of this expedition, he didn't loose heart. The Congolese, not having seen some Whites
before, and having seen him sailing on their river, wanted to kill him. Stanley waged 32
battles against these wild people who wanted to thwart his plans. He arrived at Boma in 1877
having accomplished 11.200 kilometres. Thus. Stanley crossed Africa from the East to the West,
and he was the first White who arrived in the centre of the Congo. Then Stanley went back to
Europe to give his account of the Congo. Stanley went back again with 12 Whites. The Committee
of the Study of the Upper Congo that Leopold II had founded sent them. Stanley had come to the
Congo on specific order of Leopold II and other Whites of Europe with the goal to pacify the
hearts of the people of the Congo so that they give access to the Whites to their big country.
At this time they arrived by the West, and disembarked, established in 1879 a station named
Vivi. This station was not interesting enough, they disassembled their two boats by which they
had come, and with their other belongings they went inside the country. They could not sail on
the Congo River at this place because of a lot of stones and rapids. They reached Stanley Pool
in July 1881 and build there a station which they named Leopoldville. The construction of the
road from Vivi to Stanley Pool was a gigantic work, and he created other stations along the
way. But he caught a heavy fever and was very close to death. He returned to Europe. He came
back with two other people that he had encouraged to construct a railroad in the Lower the
Congo between Matadi and Leopoldville, so that people may pass easily.
In 1882, Stanley returns again to the Congo with 14 Whites, and in May 1883 their boat moored
at Stanley Pool. They passed Bolobo, a village created by the Whites before Stanley, while
Stanley was in Europe. They arrived in Wangata in June 1883, and created a station that they
named Equateurville. The White that Stanley placed there, was called Coquilhat. He and another
White, Vangele, left for Mbandaka, which one named Coquilhatville to honour the first White
who had lived there.
Stanley went back to Europe in 1884. From then on the English, the Portuguese, the French and
the Germans were informed of the story of the Congo, and some arrived there.
The White instituted Leopold II
as king of the Congo in 1885. From 1891 to 1895, a railroad was constructed. What a tough
work! The Congolese had not yet learned some crafts, and the Whites could not execute all the
work because of the heat. They recruited some workers from China to execute all these works,
and many Whites and workers died. Had this road not been constructed, the Whites would not
have been able to bring their intelligence and their works in the inner parts of the Congo.
This rail is more or less 400 km long. The Belgians spent a lot of money to develop the Congo.
This money has been used to create the roads, the boats, and the stations of the State. Had
there not been the money of the Whites, the Blacks would have had neither many good things nor
the access to the knowledge.
At their arrival in the Congo, the Whites found some Arab Batambatamba. Their work was to
capture some slaves. The Congolese had endured a lot by some Arabs upstream. The Whites of the
State delivered true wars with the Arabs everywhere, and some of them died. These wars lasted
more or less two years; that is from May 1892 to January 1894. Since then the Arabs didn't do
bad things anymore.
Before the arrival of the Whites people fought each other without reason, solely because of
the pleasure of making war. The Whites put an end to these wars, and at present the one that
engages in it will have some palavers.
When the Whites of the State saw this behaviour of the Congolese, they decided to institute
their own customs so that they could help the Congolese, so that they end the misery, and so
that joy and health may increase. This is why in 1908 the country of the Congo was entrusted
to the Belgians. They proceeded according to an order of the King of the Belgians and since
then this country is called the Belgian Congo. The Whites continue to work with perseverance
to develop this country. The State has schools of all sorts. A lot of physicians of the State
are in the Congo, and they teach to some Congolese the knowledge of the medicines and the
recovery of the sick. They have schools to teach that way, and there are very good hospitals
of the State. Notice the many soldiers, and currently in the Belgian Congo there are no more
wars between ethnic groups. The Catholic and Protestant missionaries began to come to the
Congo in 1878, and they created their stations everywhere. They teach in their schools. They
take care of the sick in the hospitals. They preach the Good News of Jesus the Messiah. It is
why joy and all sorts of good things begin to be abundant in the Congo.
1. It is only in 1891 that Charles Lemaire displaced the Station of the State to Mbandaka and
that the name Coquilhatville has been given.
J.21: SOME FACTS THAT TOOK
PLACE IN THE CONGO, V, lesson 31, Van Hullebusch, Botondoli mambi ma nse, Mobu bwa mitano,
Lisala, 1944, p.27-29.
Children, listen to the facts
that took place in the Belgian Congo until today.
1. In 1489, the Portuguese
reached the mouth of the Congo River. They called it Zaire. Since about 415 years (1), the
tradesmen and the priests came close to the mouth. They didn't go up from there. They were
afraid of the rapids, the stones, and the mountains.
2. Nearly 100 years later, other Portuguese explored the Congo, to the South and to the East.
3. Those that arrived the first to the Congo, in the heart of Africa, are the next three
persons: Livingstone, an Englishman, from 1866 to 1868; he discovered the big lakes
Tanganyika, and the other. In 1871, he discovered our river at Nyangwe. He died in Tabora in
1873. At the death of Livingstone, Cameron took the relief. He discovered Tanganyika, Nyangwe
and the Indian ocean from 1873 to 1875. Stanley descended the River in 1877from Nyangwe to
Boma during 82 days. There were with him 4 Whites and 356 Blacks. In Boma there were Stanley
and 115 Blacks only, the others died on the way because of wars and illnesses.
4. From there Stanley returned to Europe. He remained there during two years. He came back
here, accompanied of other Whites. They went back up the river. They concluded some pacts with
the chiefs and created stations of the State. In August 1879, Stanley arrived to the port of
the river, close to Matadi. There, they looked for people. They had brought sufficient metal
sheets to assemble three small crafts. They transported them until Kitambo (Leopoldville).
There, they were assembled. Stanley and 4 Whites explored several regions and concluded some
alliances with 500 customary chiefs, creating 40 stations of the State. They had spent five
years on this work.
5. They had discovered a new country just to make it better. Some sovereigns of Europe chose
Leopold II, king of the Belgians, to become also the king of the Congo. Leopold II, is a big
civiliser, an intelligent man.
6. In 1885, Leopold II gave to the Congo its first Governor. He was placed in Boma. He also
assigned some Whites everywhere. The Katanga submitted to the authority of the State in 1890.
To this time the Blacks of the East and the Budja (2) were suffering the cruelties of the
Arabs (the Slave trade). The commanders who fought the Arabs are the following: Dhanis,
Lippens, Debruyne, Ponthier, Jacques. The Whites could not expulse the Arabs before 1894.
Afterwards, they put an end to their depredations.
7. After these wars many priests arrived to civilize the Blacks of the Congo. In the
beginning, they travelled on foot from Matadi to Leopoldville. What sufferings! Then a
railroad was built. Since 1898, the priests came by train. The train transported men and
8. Leopold II reigned on the Congo from Europe with great wisdom during 24 years. The whole
world congratulated him about it. In 1908, Leopold II offered to its Belgian compatriots the
country of the Congo. From then on one calls it the Belgian Congo. That is why all Belgians
put their mind on civilizing the Blacks: the body, the intelligence, and the heart.
9. In 1909, Albert, the son of Leopold II, came to visit the Congo. At the end of that year
Leopold II died. All wept. Albert was invested as King of the Belgians and of the Congo.
Albert also governed us with wisdom during 25 years. He died in 1934. Albert's son went up to
the throne: he is Leopold III, our beloved King.
10. (3) Children, if there were no Whites, one would not know of a more prosperous Congo than
previously. People do not wage big battles anymore between villages. They don't kill
themselves anymore. They put on some clothes. The Whites have constructed beautiful houses.
The State created some roads, big paths everywhere for vehicles and bicycles. One doesn't
carry any heavy burden anymore. The Whites provide work, and the Blacks help them. To day,
many Blacks do the works of the Whites. The priests take care of the soul and of the body.
They build hospitals and schools. They also constructed numerous Missions to teach the people
God's true religion. They taught the children all kinds of professions: carpenters, masons,
teachers, clerks, etc. The business became profitable. The doctors heal the patients. The
judges settle the palavers.
The State governs and orders the country. Now we notice that the country is prosperous! The
Church calls people to the prayer. All is in order. Let's return graces to God for these big
and numerous kindnesses.
1. The points 1 to 4 are all similar to the Petite Géographie (J.60) from 1930
2. The missions of Scheut of this region counted many Bujas.
3. This paragraph is close to Mpo ya Kongo from Mambi ma Tanga (J.51). It is a perfect summary
of the colonial ideology: " The State orders (…) ; "Business became profitable" (... ); "The
Church calls to prayer. All is in order."
J.24: THE HOLIDAY OF THE KINGS
OF BELGIUM, lesson 12 (Mambi ma botangi, II, Lisala, 1950, p., 31-34).
The day of November 15 is the
holiday of the Kings of Belgium. During this day, we explain all kindness received by our
country on behalf of the Kings of Belgium.
75 years ago, the first White man, Stanley, crossed Africa from Zanzibar to Boma. Along the
way, he found that the Arabs were angry because they couldn't take the whole Congo. They
burned the villages, killed the people, and arrested the slaves. It was sad...
All villages, as well as the men were frightened; the fetishes and the sorcery terrified them.
Only the fear of the adversaries reigned: remember that to this time, one who left for the
forest could be eaten. There were wars between the villages everywhere. Total obscurity,
without joy, only fear. Stanley informed King Leopold about this problem. The chief felt sad
by this message. Since that day, he began to call the good-minded Belgians to save the Blacks
of the Congo.
Numerous Whites responded to the call.. The priests taught the kindness of God and the road to
Other delivered wars against the Arabs during 10 years, and brought an end to this fighting.
These Whites together with the priests forbade the wars between the villages. The world began
to become peaceful.
Here are several benefits that they brought:
In the beginning, the men ate themselves: currently we notice that all people pass and walk
like they want. They work together; they have various tasks corresponding to the needs for
their nourishment and development.
The trade intervenes with articles of all kind, food, and clothing.
In the beginning here were no people who could take care of others. The authorities of Belgium
sent us several Physicians. The Sisters came later. The State constructed hospitals
To this time, nobody knew how to read or how to write. Currently the Missions have in the
whole Congo schools. Now the Blacks make carpentry, construct houses of bricks, are drivers of
vehicles, others repair engines and machinery, some teach in the schools, others work in
offices and post and telecommunication offices, in secretariats and finally some become
All these professions are financed by Belgium for the country of the Congo. The big driver of
all these was King Leopold II.
He put his heart, his intelligence, and his money in the maintenance of the Congo. Some had
doubts if he was able to achieve it all. After King Albert, King Leopold III did the same.
After all, as for the holiday of the State, let's honour God because he has given us good
chiefs. We want that he keeps them, and bless them in their works.
J.62: PREVIOUSLY - CURRENTLY.
Lesson 3 (Buku na botangi mpe boyebi) II-1, Apostolisch Vicariaat Niangara, Paters
Dominikanen, 1951, p.11, (1)
Previously, the Batambatamba,
i.e. the Arabs, mistreated the Blacks a lot; they captured the women and the children and sold
them as one sells some Bamokobe (2). They burned many houses.
The big chief of Europe, named Leopold II, sent soldiers to fight the bad people. The war of
the Arabs ended in the East of Congo.
Not so long ago, our fathers were pagans; they didn't know God, they believed in
superstitions; they were lazy, envious and mistrusted one another. The illnesses came from the
When Leopold II learned of this big misery, he asked the Fathers and the Sisters to come to
Currently, we see everywhere churches, schools, hospitals, and maternity homes,. A lot of
people know God and believe in him. The natives become gradually Christian; some Blacks even
became priests, some other nuns. The ignoramuses are delivered and healed of illnesses because
of the physicians and the Sisters. Currently, enmity and jealousy stopped among the Blacks,
because God's Kingdom already has arrived in the Congo.
Let's glorify the King, because he brought peace in our country.
1. Lesson close to "Mpo ya Kongo" (Scheut 1920), (J.51).
2. The fish mokobe = Alestes Blgr liebrechtsii. Characidae. See Dictionaire du Lingala by Van
Everbroeck, p.124 "carnivorous fish" in lomongo: bokoe (D.172). During the low waters, these
fish are sold to a vile price, because they are too numerous, and without taste.
3. The travels of the people brought new illnesses, but it had become classic to assign the
origin of bad situations to the enemies, in this case, the Arabs coming from the East.
J 34.: THE WHITES IN THE CONGO,
lesson 21 (Bosako w'oyengwa, III, Coquilhatville, 1955, p.243-244 (1)
The authorities of Europe
learned of the situation in the Congo. They knew that it was an immense country with a lot of
inhabitants. But these were wild people, excelling in all kind of evil. They constantly were
in war with each other, making some prisoners, and killing a lot of people. The Arabs came to
the Congo by the East, i.e. from Tanganyika and by the Tsingitini and Lualaba rivers. They
defeated the natives; they captured a lot of slaves, and brought them in their own countries
where they sold them.
The authorities of Europe were distressed hearing this information. They gave to the King of
Belgium, Leopold II, the authority to govern the territory of the Congo, in order to stop the
wars, to hunt the Arabs, to deliver the people of the slavery, to teach the Blacks the
knowledge of the Whites and to increase their happiness by the trade.
Leopold sent its agents to the Congo. But the natives didn't agree with the arrival of the
Whites or with their teachings; they fought them and robbed them (2). Therefore, the Whites
made war with the natives, and defeated them. The wars against the Arabs and other people were
atrocious, because of their ferocity. But the Whites ruined their strength. When the wars
ended, they freed the slaves and began to take care of the country.
1. This anonymous booklet is published by the Vicariat Apostolique of Coquilhatville. Gustaaf
Hulstaert claimed the authorship for himself (cfr J.34). In fact, it is an adaptation of J.54.
But it remains astonishing to find under the feather of Hulstaert expressions like "these are
wild people; the evil excels in them" and "that they teach to the Blacks the knowledge of the
Whites". A extensive introduction and the complete texts of Part I, II and III is published in
Annales Aequatoria 23(2002)21-193.
2. It is rare to see a mention of the resistance against the occupation by the Whites. This
sentence is not in the original text Buku ya Nzambe (J.54)
J.59: ABOUT THE CONGO. Lesson 2
(A. Feys, Mateya ma 1okota, II, Lisala, 1959, p.10-11)
Previously the Whites were not
in the Congo. A White, named Henry Stanley, crossed the entire Congo. He noticed the awful
trade of the Arabs: they brought the Blacks in slavery. He also noticed the wars that the
peoples of the Congo delivered among themselves. He returned to Europe. He made a report of
everything that he had observed to chief Leopold. After this interview, chief Leopold had
mercy of it. He sent his soldiers to fight the Arabs. He implored the priests to go there and
to teach the Blacks God's wisdom, so that the Blacks stop killing themselves. He sent Henry
Stanley and some Belgians to construct a lot of stations of the State and to organize the
The soldiers arrived; they fought a lot with the Arabs. The priests and the Sisters arrived;
they constructed churches, schools, pharmacies, and hospitals. They taught the people God's
wisdom, and other teachings. People of the State arrived; they constructed stations and roads;
they organized the Congo. The State constructed a railroad from Matadi to Kinshasa. They split
enormous rocks. The Blacks call them Bula Matari because they have "to split the stones."
Let's in turn express thanks to the Belgians, because they organized our country. (1)
1. This lesson remains close to the one of 1920 (J.51).
J. 6: BOSAKO WA MONGO, 1957.
(Anonymous, but attributed to Fr Maes. Texts of P. Ngoi and G. Hulstaert)
Each true child loves above all his own family, his own village. He does not despise other
people, but he loves his own kin more than others. It is God's will that you love your
relatives more than others. Everyone loves his own village and his ancestral land. Love of
ancestors is part of the fourth commandment of God. If one does not love his forefathers, he
trespasses the divine law of love. The respect for the own people and the village of the
ancestors is written in the heart of every honest human being. This affection will produce the
desire for knowledge, for communication, for admiration.
Every true person in the world desires to understand the rites of his forefathers, to learn
the history of his ancestors, to hold the laws of the village in esteem, to admire the special
skills of the forefathers and to honour the ancestors. This can be verified everywhere in the
world and in Africa and in Europe, in every human society, by rich and poor, by blacks and
A long time ago, there were many different groups of tribes and every group had his own name.
They did not know that they belonged to the same people and they fought one another. But
step-by-step, they began to understand that small groups did not function well, and the people
began to settle together in larger units. The more people progress in civilisation, the more
they will be attached to the language of their folk, the more they will desire to discover the
history of their ancestors, the more they will have zeal for protecting and defending the
language and customs of their forefathers.
We will try to dig up the history of our people. In this way we will avoid a strong reproach
of our relatives, and on the contrary, they will praise us for having discovered these
important affairs, these wise things, these things that nurture the village, things that
provide a civilisation with concern and dignity.
Consequently we are critical of our friends who refuse to use our language in speaking and
writing. Though they know the language of the foreigners only a little bit, their concern is
to imitate the whites and demonstrate great pride about a minimal knowledge. They reject their
own village; they don't care about the ancestral customs and prescriptions. Such behaviour is
like a denial of one's own mother. Pity! We reject this behaviour and we promise to use the
language of our mothers and fathers in our conversations and in our writings.
4. The means to rehabilitate the history of our ancestors.
How can we know the events that happened long time ago? First listen to what the old people
tell us. They know a big deal of these events. If we put their conversations on the forebears
of every group of the Mongo together, we shall learn a large part of the old history. The
mistakes and the lies of one group are corrected by the narrations of others. The Whites of
the State and the Whites of the Mission collected many stories on every group, and put them in
writing. So while comparing them and while cutting them up, they constitute a faithful
history. Let's compare the narratives to the tales, to the poems or to the songs. Doing this,
we can find another source of the old history.
J. 2: CONGO, REJOICE, Song 36
(Njembo nda nkundo, Soeurs du Précieux Sang, PP.Trappistes, Bamanya, Westmalle, 1911, p.21).
1. Rejoice you, you our Congo
And sing without restraint
Rejoice you by mouth and the deepest of your heart,
With gratitude sing you its son
Of the slavery (1), now, you are freed,
Of the terrifying slavery of the devil and of the bad people.
To your tears justice has been made
By God and, He freed you
2. Cursed by our father Noah,
Look up us all Blacks of this country;
Oppressed because of his terrifying insult,
With tears we cried on the earth.
The deliverance came for us from the sky,
Now light shone,
Darkness left the eyes,
And God sees us.
3. Big joy! A strong King
Is sent by God in this country;
And his relatives, (3) for mercy's sake,
They leave in a just surge Europe and,
May they free us of the slavery with ardour,
May they form a league with us in this fight on earth?
Thank them, you, our Congo country,
Thank them, you, son of this country,
4. Oh country elected by God,
To free your brothers and sisters,
Oh Belgium, the Heavens bless you.
By his blessing that he blesses your people,
You, that adopted us like your own children,
And Belgium and us, we are united
Rejoice you, our country, the Congo,
Accept our acknowledgments every day.
1. The slavery evoked in this song is in the first place the one of the devil and then the one
of the Arabs, all two "justified" by Noah's curse of Cham.
2. H. Vinck, Le mythe de Cham dans les livrets scolaires du Congo Belge, Canadian Journal of
African Studies 33(1999)2-3, 642-674
3. The relatives of the " Strong King": All collaborators (all Belgians) are considered as the
children of Leopold I
J.52: THE SLAVERY IN THE CONGO.
Lesson 15 (Exercises de language.Lingala-Français et Français Lingala, Collection des Frères
Maristes, Liège, H.Dessain, 1925, p.108-110)
Not so long ago, the slavery
caused a big misery to the Congolese people. Many Arabs arrived in Zanzibar in 1817; in Ujiji
in 1845, and in Nyangwe on the banks of the Lualaba in 1868. They came to look for slaves, to
capture them or to buy them, and to sell them, such is their first aim. What an infamy! Some
bad chiefs helped them in this task.
The Arabs penetrated the ins and outs of the following regions: Kirundu, Nyangwe, Kasongo, and
Kambambare. At night they irrupted in a village; they put fire on the huts and killed all
those who wanted to take flight or tempted to defend their families. They captured some people
and married some of the women and girls. One pulled them, one jostled them, as beasts, to the
markets of slaves in Ujiji, Tabora, Zanzibar. Under way, the slaves were thirsty and they were
tired. The Arabs didn't have compassion. They hit the slaves who didn't know how to walk.
Learning this ignoble practice of the slavery, Leopold II sent some Whites to deliver us of it
1. Other editions of this text see the edition of the same booklet in 1936.
J.60: THE SLAVE TRADE (Petite
Géographie), F.E.C., 1930, p.15-16.)
The Arabs coming from Zanzibar
around 1840, had penetrated to the Belgian Congo and exercised their domination in the whole
oriental part. They sold men and women like animals. They made prisoners of the Blacks charged
of ivory. The Arabs had powerful chiefs who commanded more than 30.000 men.
The war of the Arabs.
1886. The Arabs burned the
Station of the Falls.
1888. Foundation in Belgium of the Belgian Antislavery Society. It sent four expeditions to
Tanganyika with the goal to erect an impassable barrier to the Arabic traders coming from the
East. Their combined action with the State contributed to end the Arabian influence.
1890. Ngongo-Lutete walks towards Lusambo heading 500 warriors; he is besieged by Dhanis,
Michaux and Lagat with 200 black soldiers.
1892. Beginning of the campaign against the Arabs. A second attack of Ngongo-Lutete is
repulsed by Dhanis and Michaux. Chiefs Ngongo-Lutete, Lupungus, and Pania-Mutombo submit.
The Arabs slaughter Hodister and five other Belgians in Riba-Riba.
De Bruyne and Lippens are murdered by Sefu in Kasongo. Sefu walks then on the head of 10.000
armed men against Ngongo-Lutete. Michaux crushes him at the passage of the Lomami. 4000 men
are killed. Dhanis pursues the enemy, but collides to an army of 10.000 warriors ordered by
Munie Moharna. He falls at the beginning of the action. The defect of the Arabs is complete.
1893. Collapse of Nyangwe. Sefu runs away to Kasongo. Dhanis attacks Kasongo with fixed
bayonets and seize the place himself. The victory is complete. In the meantime Chaltin comes
to the help of the station of the Falls, besieged by Rachid. He topples the Arabs and makes
Ponthier, helped by Lothaire, puts the troops of Kibonge in Kirundu into pieces, makes 1.000
prisoners and pursues the Arabs, until the Lowa; he seizes 25 Arabian chiefs, among which Saîd
who is immediately executed. Then Ponthier joins Dhanis in Kasongo.
To this moment, Rimaliza, sultan of Udjidji, arrives to the assist the Arabs in Kasongo,
Dhanis attacks them, but the Arabian position is too strong. In a Arabian counterattack
Ponthier is killed. Rumaliza folds back and maintains himself in three surrounding walls.
After 2 months of daily fights, Sefu is killed, Dhanis attacks the Arabian camp with three
cannons that set it on fire. Immediately Dhanis made an assault and win a complete victory.
Lothaire pursues the army of Rumaliza in flight and seize Kabambare. Descamps continues to
fight the Arabs in the vicinity of the Tanganyika lake; he besieges during 50 days the boma of
chief Masala; after a violent bombardment he makes the assault of it with fixed bayonets. On
September 22, 1894 he seizes the last Arabian boma and returns thousands of slaves to liberty.
J. 65: BESAKO BIA EKELESIA
(History of the Church) of W.D. Armstrong, Congo Balolo Mission, 1930, chapter 29, p, 86-87.
Once, hundred and some years
ago, the English had some black slaves. These were sold and were bought for money. But Javhé
God raised a certain man, William Wilberforce, to demonstrate to the people that the slavery
was a bad practice. This man had worked with ardour to deliver the slaves and to purify the
name of England from this ashaming practice (1838). He had his enemies, these latter wanted to
stop his project but after all he won and England paid in return a large compensation to the
masters of the slaves so that the slaves are freed. The English, on their side, didn't make
case anymore on this business.
America knew a big war because of the slavery of the Blacks, and after it they delivered all
slaves of their slavery. This is how God's mind had driven the fathers of the Whites while
telling them to have mercy of the children and to hate cruelty. Since the beginning of
Protestantism the laws of Europe had changed face. Once, the punishments inflicted to people
were cruel, but nowadays, the Whites have learned to treat people with gentleness and execute
only the people who kill others deliberately; and if there are people who kill some men with
determination, they kill them without suffering. The Whites have mercy of the people, they
demonstrate it in regard to the children, to the patients, to the disabled, to those that are
mad, and also towards the animals. All these things took place thanks to Jesus' teaching seen
in the light of the Reformation.
J.12: THE CONGOLESE. Lesson 3
(Tokoyekola lingala, Frères de Saint Gabriel, Bondo, 1937, p.11-13)
Reading: In the Congo.
Previously the Congo was not as currently. The Blacks lived in big misery because of the
malice of the Arabs. They captured some Blacks to become slaves. About 200 Arabs formed a
league while crossing the rivers. They even sailed during night. They disembarked on the
banks, and entered in a village where they put fire on all houses, killing some, and capturing
others as slaves. Thus, during their raids, they captured thousand and thousands of people.
They also captured women and children. They brought some slaves very far away. There, they
sold some of them to other Arabs. An adult man was sold for about 20 francs and a child for
2,5 francs. What a big shame on the Arabs! But the King sent his soldiers in the Congo to
deliver the slaves. The Whites engaged in several battles. They destroyed the Arabs and at
present the Blacks live in liberty.
READING: The Congolese
In the Congo one can see some Whites.
They came from Europe.
The Whites destroyed the Arabs in our country.
Previously the Arabs captured some Blacks at all costs.
They sold them in slavery.
Indeed, the King rescued us.
J.24: THE ARABS: MARCH OF THE
BLACKS. Lesson 11 (Mambi ma botangi II, Lisala, 19-50; p. 27-3l)
I. The Arabs.
On time, the Congo had a lot of inhabitants. The men are reduced by illnesses and by internal
wars. Another aspect at the basis of this decrease of the Congolese were the Arabian wars, the
capture of the Blacks in order to sell them elsewhere. The men that we believe to be Arabs in
the Congo had not come from Arabia, they are Blacks of Africa who adhered to the beliefs of
What are the reasons of the arrival of the Arabs in Africa? They came to look for slaves and
also for the exaggerated thirst for ivory. One day, when they inaugurated a market, the
merchants were at the number of 32.700. Once, the Arabs demolished 110 villages, they went
back with 2.300 slaves and 2.000 tusks. In this exodus several Blacks died by fear of the
When they arrested these men, and abducted them, it was awful. One could not see it two times.
Listen! When they arrive, they make war, they emerge suddenly before the people, they are more
or less 300 or 500, with rifles. During the night, some fire their arms, others burn the
houses. People were full of fear. They see their brothers laying dead everywhere. They take
spears to try to resist but in vain. Some lucky ones escaped and hid in the forest, where the
cartridges pierce the leaves all sides.
The Arabs caught men, women, and children. A terrifying business! The clatter of the oars
takes the breath away; the spears flash in the sky until the village is tired. After that, the
Arabs will calm their anger on the slaves while hitting and trampling them. They put them
together. They will call five or six people, put them in columns according to their size.
After the work to tie up the Blacks came the whips: "Walk, slaves, walk".
II. The sad road
The column lengthens, seven to seven they are tied on a stick. Sun, rain, or what ever, it is
all the same: the animals walk.
Some mothers have children. They transport them on the back; there the necks are tied up. The
children only cry. The column walks...days and days. At their arrival, they sleep with ropes
on the neck. When one is tired on one side, he can never change to the other, except if a
friend wakes him up and throws himself together with the ropes on the other side.
At daylight, the walk starts again. No one cries, nor seems be tired. An Arab will take the
one who complains or fells into syncopation or loses knowledge and throw below the one who
fainted. He will take the knees, go up on the ropes, and take his machete. Then, he does what
one does to a lamb.
The slaves who were still alive observe the stage and tremble because of the situation that
Gone, they left the city of Uzizi for the port of the Indian Ocean, or for the Nile River or
they pass by way of the Indian Ocean for the city of Zanzibar. The market starts, the
purchasers emerge, they observe these Blacks where they buy some products. They will see if
their chests are big and strong. They will open their mouths to see how are their dentures.
They will make a knock on the back, to see if the noise clears a good bulge. They will start
them to walk, to run, in order to know if their bodies are enduring etc. At he end, they will
begin the purchase. "Oh this one doesn't have some teeth left, he is aged, his body is tired,
he is not youthful" etc., like they buy dogs or goats. A man of a faraway village bought them
and leaves; there they will become his slaves.
III. In the boat (1)
Finished the market, the boat arrives. They will throw them in the cabins; it will be full
there. The sad boat disembarks. Where do they go with them? What will they make of them? They
You already heard that the ocean has big waves. The boat turns its prow, disappears backwards,
bends toward the right, and turns on the other side. In all these turnarounds of the boat, the
slaves fall from the top below on each other. In these falls, they feel vomiting. They vomit,
exhausted and, they die one by one, above each other. About food, they don't ask for anything.
They prepare a little corns with beans in big pots, that one brings to them. It brings them
strength back in the body, they take and eat some.
Once, an epidemic emerges and they die all like hens. Sometimes winds provoke some curling and
the boat risks to capsize. The Arabs and the crew's men go in the barges, the slaves remain in
the boat, shortly after, the boat flows, and the ocean swallows them together with the boat.
If a other boat attacks the slave drivers, quickly, they take the slaves and kill them. They
attach stones on their feet and throw them livingly in the ocean (2).
No one knows how to justify the pain that they feel. Seeing this, Stanley warns Europe.
Lavigerie, a French Cardinal, organized a Congregation of priests to put an end to the
slavery. Belgium also puts an end to the slavery.
1. While continuing the narration of the Trade by the Arabs, the author uses a description
that rather applies to the western trade and the transfer of the Blacks toward America
(although also of application for the transportation toward the Indies and other Asian
countries to and from Zanzibar)
2. Allusion on the inspection by the English after the abolition of the slavery.
J. 58: YOUNGSTERS OF THE CONGO,
DON'T FORGET! Lesson 44 (Mambi ma botangi, II, Lisala, 1955, p.90-93).
I. The terror of the Arabs
Rain falls, endless... Waters descend to the river. The night begins to point. On the sky, the
moon advances, it shines a quick light. There, in the forests, all is quiet. Only the huge
touraco shouts, it perches to the top of the trees of the banks, it sings. No circulation, the
cold weather made enter everybody in his house. Mobundi, he, the fisher, remains outside, he
trains to weave some lobster pots and sits down by the fire, he looks at the moon. Suddenly he
feels his whole body trembling. Suddenly he got an idea: the moon got rusty because of the
knives of the Arabs... Ah the Arabs! This jinx! They want only to pour blood. Ah! That they
are shrewd! When Mobundi was thinking this, his body trembled unceasingly and he began to
fear... What? A fox passed quickly... Mabudi penetrated on the barza. To the side, just on the
right was the house of chief Bambata. Bambata sleeps; the cigarettes made it yellow the eyes.
In the evening, chief Bambata went to the village of the witch doctor to question him about
the rumours that spread everywhere that the Arabs are going to come. The witch doctor looks at
his talisman and says to the chief: "The Arabs cannot invade the village, the talisman is
going to prevent it, returning them blinded". When the chief went back home, he attached in
the houses some skins, rings, bracelets, heavy copper rings carried on the neck with all sorts
of amulets. Then he thought: "The Arabs won't come to invade my village therefore! My charm is
People of the village are sleeping deeply. Some are tired for reason of paddling; others have
their bodies weakened because of hunting. The whole village is quiet; deathly silence. Only
the moon in the sky goes gradually up and down. However the night hides cruel realities!
There, next to a small forest, shades swing, walk, push themselves gradually like a cat during
the night. At present they are ready. They watch the village asleep.
Sefu, chief of the Arabs doesn't sleep. He sent his people with swords and chains. They passed
in the regions of Basoko, Stanleyville, Kindu, Kasongo. They only have one desire in their
hearts: to put on fire the villages, to kill and capture people. The night is their friend.
II THE ARABS
Mobudi attaches the fish traps on the grill, he wants to enter... What? the dog begins to bark
at the bottom of the veranda. On the side of the backyard, the rooster sings again gbaa...
gbaa. The rifles thunder... The men of Sefu begin to shout in a quick voice, they jump on the
houses. Mobudi runs away in the forest. The Arabs already surrounded the chief's house, they
pierce it with their sables: then they put fire on the hut. While waking up thus, the men are
terrorized. They leave their houses with spears and arrows in their hands: the war beats its
height in the obscurity. Some of the residents throw themselves in the herbs of the
riverbanks; others cross toward the opposite banks while swimming. It is in vain; the Arabs
pursue them with rafts and cut their heads in the water. Many flee toward the forest; the
struggle worsens; some Arabs die because of the arrows; but they are always numerous! The
house of the chief and other houses turn into smokes and in fire...
Outside there are thirteen captives: all men, a rope around the arms and the pitchforks on the
feet. They also caught the women; they put them all in the same house. The war ends. The men
of Sefu wait until the day rises. Night of misfortune! The stars disappear progressively of
the sky... The Arabs and their crew get ready. They leave the village. They choose the
captured: all residents as well as all hunters make a long line. Then six young girls will
come. A small child doesn't stop clinging to his mother's feet. An Arab drives him a sword in
the neck. The expedition starts! Indeed, neither the leopard nor the lion are as awful as the
Arabs. On the banks of the Aruwimi, Lomami and Lualaba rivers, as well as of the Sankuru, they
In the evening of this unforgettable day, Mobudi leaves the forest; with fear, he returns to
the village: only smoke,.. The odour of burnt herbs; his feet hits a corpse... he cries and
his heart breaks in sorry. Farther on all roads, one meets a lot of captured Blacks. They walk
two to three months, continuously until they reach the big market of the Arabs, the place of
sale of the men.
Seventy years passed when these events had taken place. News of these sufferings echoed, and
spread, and penetrated in the ears of the Europeans. Their hearts ware touched with pity. A
man, and it is a chief, who sympathized strongly to these sufferings, was Leopold II, the king
of the Belgians. Stanley presented him the report of the shameful trade that the Arabs did.
The heart of Leopold II was broken. He looked at the map of the Congo... and says: "There, in
the forest of the Blacks, I will send my soldiers, to hunt these murderers; I will send some
tradesmen so that they bring a lot of goods there. I will also send Priests and religious
Sisters to preach God's Word there. Let them educate the whole youth of the Congo. It is that
what I, Leopold II, want."
A man's word, a noble's resolve. Because everything that has been proposed, the King of the
Belgians achieved it. My children, let's thank the Belgians.
J.23: LIBERATION OF THE BLACKS,
lesson 34. (Mateya ma bomonisi, Manual du maître, Lisala, 1955, p,. 88-90)
Preparations: The teacher
foresees a good lesson. He talks with insistence on the liberation of the Blacks. The pupils
must know that the Europeans saved us from the Arabs. He will recall in short lesson number 33
1. My children, here in the territory, where the Arabs came from to catch the people, the
Whites did not known our environment. The roads to reach them did not exist. Large mountains,
and the river and the frightening rapids forbade the Whites to know this land.
2. One day, a White, a Christian of Europe named Stanley, came to see our country. He entered
by the North with a small boat. He tried to help the Blacks. They entered in the boat, sailed
on the big river from upstream to downstream. It had taken him 85 days more or less.
3. During his passage by boat in the villages of the Blacks, Stanley had mercy of our
forebears. He found that the Arabs monopolized their goods, burnt the houses, and drove the
people in slavery. Stanley for mercy's sake of our forebears got angry and fought some wars
with the Arabs. They met in Basoko. The Whites with the black chiefs passed, succeeded, and
chased away the Arabs. The Whites persevered and put an end to the wars and to the slavery.
God wanted it also. He chose us. Stop to work for the devil, let's accept the authority of the
Saviour of all men.
4. Then, the Whites began to govern our territory. They protected us and helped our forebears
in their problems. Let's glorify God with our minds and our bodies for these favours.
Questions of recall
1. Are the men capable to free themselves?
2. If it arrived that all the people of the world remained pagan, who could go to the heaven?
3. Did the Blacks recover life by the Arabs?
4. Why didn't the Whites have known our country in the beginning?
5. Who is the first White that penetrated our country?
6. With the help of what did he cross our country?
7. Who had helped him?
8. What difficulties did Stanley meet at the stream?
9. Against whom did Stanley and the black chiefs deliver the war?
10. Who won the victory?
11. Mention two kindnesses that entered in our territory
12. Did God open the way of the faith?
13. Who became our leaders?
14. Are their goods increasing?
15. Homework: The children draw Stanley's small boat.
1. Lesson 33: "Boyangeli bwa ekolo" (The government of the country)
"All authority comes from God"
is the leitmotif of all manuals, although the Protestant authors are less explicit. All Whites
belong to the class of the authorities by nature. All the same, the religious authorities are
located on a specific domain, but they work hand in hand with the authorities of the State.
"The State", abstract, but omnipresent, is the incarnation of the authority, it is achieved in
a panoply of persons, arranged from top to bottom like a pyramid, starting by the King of the
Belgians and finishing with the local chief, delegated of the administration. The State
affirms itself by its army and by the imposition of chores and taxes. The Belgian flag is the
symbol of it.
The Catholic Church, declares itself the most capable to instil the correct concept of
authority, as wrote in 1930 one its most famous representatives, Mgr V. Roelens: "Only the
Christian-Catholic religion, based on authority, is capable to change the indigenous
mentality, give a correct and intimate conscience of their duties to our Blacks, inspire them
respect of authority and give them the mind of loyalty towards Belgium" (in L. Franck (Ed.),
Le Congo Belge II, La Renaissance du Livre, Brussels, s.d., p.208-209).
THE ORIGIN OF THE AUTHORITY
J.36: THE CATECHIST AND THE
WHITE / THE CATECHIST AND THE CHIEF, chapter 13/14 (Belemo bemo bae bolaki, Mill Hill,
Basankusu, Rome, 1923, p.22-23). (1)
THE CATECHIST AND THE WHITE
The catechist will honour all Whites. The catechist will always come to a White with respect.
When he speaks to a White, he will speak with respect and calmly. The catechist proves that he
surpasses some people in knowledge, he remembers the advice given by the priest: how to behave
with Whites: he greets him with respect. If a White comes in his village, the catechist goes
to him and greets him. It is good to bring vegetables, eggs, fruits and food to the White, so
that he buys them.
If the White of State arrives, the catechist goes quickly to him, greets him, and says to him:
"White, I am the catechist of the mission; the priest sent me here to instruct the people." He
shows him his catechist's card. If the White asks him for information, he will tell him
precisely what he knows. He will speak to him with sincerity and truth. If the catechist wants
to say something to the White, he will ask him if the White agrees with it. He will say:
"White, I would like to speak to you about a problem."
If the problem doesn't concern the catechist, the catechist doesn't make the explanation if
the White does not ask. The catechist will also counsel his flock to honour the White.
I think that the White will be good for a man who honours and respects the Whites. During his
contact with the White, the catechist will observe the rules of politeness.
THE CATECHIST AND THE CHIEF
The catechist will honour and respect the traditional and the medal chief. The chief of the
village is also the chief of the catechist. The catechist surpasses other people in respect
and in honouring the chief. He will also teach to his flock to respect and to honour their
chief. The village will be prosperous if people respect the chief. The village will become
flourishing if people carry reverence to the chief and respect his authority. The chief is the
man who the State, owner of the Belgian Congo, named as its representative. He agrees that the
chief and the catechist become friends. It is good that the chief and the catechist follow a
same way. It is recommended that the chief doesn't obstruct the catechist's work, and that the
catechist doesn't obstruct the chief's work.
If the chief likes the catechist, he will help a lot in the pastorate, and the pastorate will
be prosperous. He will help him to construct the chapel, the school, his dwelling, and in the
construction of the Christian village (2). He will help him by the palavers between men or
women living on the mission station.
If people notice that the chief likes the catechist, some will come to the catechesis and to
the school. If enmities, quarrels, and antagonism exist between the chief and the catechist,
the catechist's work will suffer. Love and peace between the two are for the better.
Before constructing the chapel, the school and the village of the Christians, the catechist
will ask the permission to the chief, because such matter is the chief's domain.
If the State requires some labour, the catechist will make cure that the Christians go there
like all others. The catechist will tell the chief not to call the Christians to work on
Sunday and on days of precept. The catechist will help the chief as much as he can. He will
write for him the letters to be mailed, he will read for him the letters which the Whites send
him; he will explain to him what the Whites want if he doesn't know it himself; if the chief
seeks instruction, the catechist will teach him to read and to write.
If the chief hurts people, the catechist won't agree with the evil he commits. Chapter 24
treats: "The catechist and the palavers". What will he do when the chief behaves thus?
Catechist, honour the chief, and the chief will honour you.
1. These two lessons are retaken in summary in the booklet composed by Father Nand Van Linden,
Belemo bya Bolaki, Boende, 1959, Lesson 14.
2. bolomo w'akristu = the village of the Christians. The use existed at the time to separate
the Christians of the pagans in a separate village, away of the other and with its own chief.
The State often opposed this custom and wanted to hold the Christian under a same chief with
J.52: DUTY OF THE MEDAL CHIEFS,
(Exercise de langage. Lingala-Français et Français lingala, Frères maristes, Liège, 1925,
p.139-141) (1) Lessons 39 and 40
Here are in summary the main
duties of the chiefs:
1. To obey the Whites of the State of which they depend.
2. To make sure that the natives know the decisions, orders and opinions of the authorities of
3. To make the authorities know the wishes of their subjects.
4. To facilitate the operations of the census; to inform the administration of all death,
disappearances, and emigrations.
5. To denounce to the Whites of the State all serious infringement of the laws: test of
poison; human sacrifices, acts of anthropophagi, purchase and sale of slaves, culture, and
sale and use of hemp.
6. To stop the guilty individuals of serious infringements and to deliver them to the Public
7. To help the Whites to perceive the taxes imposed by the State.
8. To take all useful measures to stop the propagation of infectious diseases.
9. To make the administrator know all serious events that occur in the county.
46. DUTY OF THE MEDAL CHIEFS
The chiefs make execute by
their natives the following chores, some free, others for money:
a) to clean the village, to destroy the weeds and the bushes in a radius of 100 meters of the
b) to deforest the banks of the rivers where the village bath, until 100 meters upstream and
downstream to the limits of the agglomeration.
c) to arrange a cemetery on the place designated by the administrator.
d) to execute all prescribed works to fight the sleeping sickness.
e) to make and to maintain the paths until the limit the chieftainship.
f) to provide the passage of the swamps and river by bridges, or by dugouts.
g) to construct and to maintain dwellings at the places fixed by the administrator.
The chief imposes only chores
to the adult and the healthy men. The women can be used only to clean the village and to
destroy the weeds. If the natives don't want to submit, the chief can incarcerate them up to
15 days and order the punishment of the whip up to 12 strokes (2). One doesn't whip the women.
1. This text returns in the different editions of the manual from 1925. A special booklet
existed on this matter: Quelques notions sur la legislation du Congo Belge à enseigner aux
élèves des écoles primaries [Some notions on the legislation of the Belgian Congo to teach to
the pupils of the primary schools] (edition 1957, Frères Maristes, Stanleyville, 23 p. -, but
published and translated in various ways).
2. In the edition of 1957 this disposition is reduced to 7 days of jail and 100 Frs of fine.
J.26: THE AUTHORITIES, l lesson
(Mambi ma botangi ndenge na ndenge, Makanza - Nouvel Anvers, 1932, p.9-10).
All authority comes from God
(1), the first authority. All men on earth, who detain some authority, are God's substitutes.
God gave them his own authority. Thus, all authorities of the world govern according to the
will of God himself.
Who are our authorities? The nearest authorities are our parents. Further follow all those
that govern us, so in the spiritual as in the temporal domain (2.)
The leading spiritual authority is the Pope of Rome. The present Pope is Pius XI. In Rome and
in the whole world, the Cardinals, - always to the number of 70 - help the Pope. The Cardinals
elect a new Pope. The Pope, the Cardinals, and the Bishops are the great ecclesiastical
authorities. A bishop governs an ecclesiastical circumscription for and on behalf of the Pope.
The priests are helpers of the Bishops. Usually the Pope delegates a Bishop Legate to watch
over several bishops and their followers residing in a large territory as the entire Congo.
The temporal authorities are: Albert, the sovereign of Belgium and of the Congo, and all white
Administrators, as well as the chiefs of the villages.
1. H. Vinck, Le concept et la pratique de l'autorité tels qu'enseignés dans les livrets
scolaires du Congo Belge, Revue Africaine des Sciences de la Mission, Kinshasa 1997, n°6, p.
2. The version of 1950 (J 24) adds there: "The authorities of the workplace and the school:
The chiefs of the workplace direct their workers in all problems they can meet in maintaining
their service. Our teachers in the schools direct the mind and the body of the children
instead of their parents. Let's like the chiefs, let's respect them, let's pray for them,
let's listen to their words, because their voice is God's voice."
J. 50: THE AUTHORITIES OF THE
STATE (Mateya ma lisolo. Manuel du Maître II, lesson 12, Lisala, 1954, p.28-30)
1. The State, arranged our
country. Let's like it. Before the arrival of the State, the Congo was in a condition of never
seen sadness: there were a lot of wars. The stronger acted towards the losers like he liked;
the few survivors were taken in slavery. They took all their possessions and burned their
Sometimes, someone working on the field sees people making irruption, spears, and machetes in
hands. While wanting to express themselves, they are already decapitated. If at this time, you
undertake alone a long journey, you won't come back. To this moment heathenism was in full
swing, the men considered their neighbours as things, and God's laws were despised.
2. In the middle of the enemies and the wars of the ancestors, the Arabs arrived. Did the
spears, the arrows and the knives of the forebears harm them? They fought with cartridges and
rifles. Arrived in a village, first they killed the men who want to fight them; the strongest
were taken in slavery; they stole the precious effects and then they burned the whole village.
They arrived finally in Basoko. If the State had not arrived in time, some villages that now
have a lot of inhabitants could already have been abandoned. All these were the tortures that
the Arabs inflicted to our forebears, they did it without the least hesitation because their
law obliged them to kill the men and to steal their belongings.
3. What does it mean that the State which saved you? The State are the authorities of the
Congo. The first authority is the King of Belgium. Here in the Congo, come after him the
Governors, the Commissioners, and the Administrators of Territories. These chiefs provide some
laws, as for example: that people do not kill them selves, that they maintain the roads, that
they cultivate the fields and so forth. They transmit these laws to some villages of the
Whites, and to the Whites travelling in the Interior. They apply these laws: they have the
roads maintained; they oblige people to crush the stones and so forth. Some Whites,
agriculturists, have as task to cultivate rice, cotton, and so forth. All these works are for
the well being of the villagers. Who won't walk on the road that the State arranged? When the
White agriculturists force people to plant rice and cotton (1), who are then the recipients?
Are that not the villagers? We see people wearing beautiful clothes, everywhere we see
bicycles, and these are the returns of working on the fields.
Some Whites have the profession to settle the disputes: these are the judges. They don't want
any disorder in the village. Thus, if someone kills his neighbour, they stop him; judge him
and finally give him a punishment equivalent to his mistake.
Some are physicians; they fight against the illnesses of the people. They travel the country
to all villages in search of the illnesses that the people have. Most illnesses are detected,
for instance the smallpox. Having discovered these patients, they give them some medicines,
and injections to put an end to these illnesses. Had the Whites not been present, when the
illness of the sleeping sickness raged, a lot of people would have died, and would continue to
die even today.
4. What should we give in return for all what the State does for us,? Let's honour the
authorities of the State. While meeting along the way with them, let's greet them solemnly by
the losako; let us show them our reverence. Firstly, let us respect these chiefs. If they
oblige us to maintain the road, let's go with our friends to perform this work. Let's begin to
clear the fields when the White agriculturist asks it.
When the period of the tax arrives, let's go pay it. If they forbid the wars, it is for our
own good; don't engage in any war as our forebears did.
Some say: "The Whites of the State make us suffer." Most of them don't harm you. The laws
don't allow it. If some officer is a little violent, he will cause his own misfortune; no
country lacks bad guys; very quickly they get some punishments. We notice that the authorities
send some Whites back to Europe (2).
5. Let's respect the
authorities of the State; it is God who wants it. While refusing to respect them, we also
refuse the command of God.
1. Rice and cotton were obligatory cultures, imposed mainly in the North part of Equator
2. It is exceptional that a similar text admits the possibility of abuse in the exercise of
the authority by the White.
J.50: THE BLACK CHIEFS (Mateya
ma 1isolo, Manuel du maître I, lesson 13, Lisala, 1954, p.30-31).
1. God obliges us to respect
all chiefs. In the village of Mary and Joseph, Jesus, God in person, behaved as other
children. Mary sent him to the kitchen to light the fire; she sent him to cut firewood and to
draw water. Jesus obeyed these orders. In his carpenter's shop, Joseph gave him some orders
like a father uses to do with regard to his son. Why did God's son respect his creatures
Joseph and Mary? Because God gave them to Jesus as his parents and as his chiefs.
2. God gave you some chiefs too; some are whites and some others are blacks. Who are the black
chiefs? First are the chiefs of the sectors, then of the capita of the village. They
communicate to the people the orders that the State gives and make some prescriptions to
organize the villages. They supervise the works imposed by the State.
To settle some disputes, we also have some judges in every sector. Their activity consists to
make sure that no unrest does occur in the villages, to judge the palavers, to punish the
offenders. If the matter is very serious, they transfer the palaver to the Administrator of
the Territory or to the white judge.
For the supervision of the fields, the State places the capita of the fields. These replace
the white agronomists; they are also our chiefs. Later, there won't be a white physician
anymore in the village, but a black physician. He will execute the orders given by a white
Those chiefs help you like civil servants of the State.
3. What should we do for them?
As we honour the white chiefs, we must also honour them. Let's greet them with solemnity every
time that we meet them. We must get up before them and we must speak with politeness. So if a
chief arrives at home, let's welcome him politely and give him a chair with deference.
Let's honour all chiefs: not only the Christian chiefs, but also the pagan chiefs; not only
those that behave well, but also those that are polygamous. Let's honour them, because they
are our chiefs.
Before honouring them it is necessary to respect them. Let's execute everything that they ask
according to the law. The laws, which the black chiefs give to us, come from the State. If we
respect them, we also respect the State and finally we respect God. When we refuse to respect
the chiefs of the village, we offend God. When the judges decide a dispute, let's accept the
manner of which they proceeded to judge this business. If we will lose the suit, let's not
say: "I lost this suit because he is a black (1), I do not agree." If we really think that we
lost the suit without reason, let's avoid a vain altercation with the judge; rather transfer
this problem to the administrator of the Territory. If we want to respect all chiefs indeed
like God wants it, first begin to respect the chiefs who are there at the village: the
teachers, the catechists, the capita, which the Priest gives you.
(1) As for the problem of the acceptance of the authority of the Blacks by the Blacks, read
A.J. Omari, in La Voix du Congolais, 1952, p. 66l
J.31: THE GRATITUDE WE MUST
RETURN TO THE STATE, THAT IS: THE COLONY OF THE BELGIAN CONGO (lesson 31, Bonkanda wa mbaanda
w'école II, Battson Memorial Press, Bolenge 1924, p. 97-215)
We, the population of the
Belgian Congo, we know that the State is as someone who organizes all things. Also, let's list
everything that the State makes in our favour.
1. THE STATE FORBIDS TO KILL
We know that previously someone could cut down all individual that he had threatened to death,
at the least change of mood. At that, people killed a lot of people for case of stealing. On
occasion of a patriarch's death, one killed all his slaves (1). Many people too were killed
for the sake of sorcery, and for many other reasons. Nobody prevented them. Currently, if
someone kills, he is guilty of a very serious infringement. The State wants that people live.
2. THE STATE FORBIDS THE WARS
Previously, before the arrival of the State, it arrived that a kingdom or a village invaded
another. One wanted to increase the number of slaves or had need of women; then the patriarchs
mobilized their men for the war. At the time, a lot of people died by the wars. If our mothers
felt any danger, they trembled of fear, believing that the war was imminent. They thought
that, either themselves or their children would be taken in captivity. Once upon a time, a war
occurred because of a dog (2), and hundreds of people died for nothing. If the State had
already come, those people didn't have to die. The State is not of the opinion that people
should fight for futilities. It wants that people are in peace and calm.
3. THE STATE DELIVERS US OF OUR
Previously, the people who had won the war brought back numerous people in captivity. The
State doesn't accept that one person is a master and an other a slave. It wishes that each is
master of his destiny. If someone stays in slavery today, it is his own fault. If he wants to
free himself, his master cannot prevent him.
4. THE STATE RELIEVES US WHO
WERE IN MISERY
Previously, the strangers came stealthily, and caught people. They exiled them to other
faraway countries for hard labour. The parents, who remained, were henceforth without news.
But since we have the State, some Blacks and Arabs coming from the East to look for the slaves
as previously, have simply been annihilated by the action of the State and its soldiers. While
remaining people of the State, we cannot be afraid of this practice anymore.
5. THE STATE DECIDES OUR
Previously, we felt a lot of difficulties to decide our palavers. At present, the State
prevents some wars. It doesn't abandon us because it decides our palavers. The claimant brings
his eyewitness to the White of the State. After having learned about the declarations of the
two parties, this White pronounces a just judgment. The State puts back under the conjugal
roof the divorced women or those that had been married elsewhere. And if the wives have just
grievances, the State encourages them. The State neutralizes the delinquents even if they were
Capita or Whites (3).
6. THE STATE CONFERS POWERS AND
PREROGATIVES TO THE CHIEFS OF THE VILLAGES (4)
The State wants that people obey their chiefs. It accepts that the chiefs inflict the chicotte
or the jail to those who don't obey. If a chief or a second-in-command decided palavers
according to the law, in spite of the discontent of a party, the State confirms this judgment.
But if for lack of authority a chief doesn't succeed in deciding palavers, the White of the
State will decide it for him.
7. THE STATE TAKES CARE OF THE
Our fathers didn't have any good roads in the forest. For this reason we didn't travel
frequently. The work on the road is not of the least important; if everybody wanted to create
some roads in every city, it would ask a big effort. The State is like a chief invested to
help all villages to maintain their roads. The people who create some roads remove the weed,
level the hills and put footbridges over the rivers. Our children will see spacious roads
everywhere, and will have the opportunity to travel elsewhere; so the peoples of several
regions will enter in contact with other peoples.
8. THE STATE PROTECTS THE
POSSESSIONS OF THE WHITES
If the State didn't protect the possessions of the Whites, we would not have all these Whites
of the companies dispatched in many villages. Before the arrival of the State the Whites had
come for the trade, but they did not bring numerous goods as currently. Thus, protecting the
goods of the Whites, the State helps us.
9. THE STATE OFFERS US THE
OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE MONEY, I.E., FRANCS
The Whites of the State and others settled almost everywhere in this country. These Whites
call on a big number of workers for such works as: felling, weeding, construction of houses or
manufacturing of pirogues. Some others are employed as: rowers, sellers, cooks, servants,
mechanics, and masons.
All these workers are remunerated for their work. And the State himself recruits hundreds of
workers for its colonial enterprise.
The State wants that those who don't work for the Whites increase their fields while providing
supplies to relieve the hunger of the workers that doesn't have the opportunity to cultivate
their own fields. By the purchase of the produce of their fields, the owners will have a lot
of money that means many francs.
10. THE STATE ENRICHED OUR
COUNTRY OF HUGE RICHES
The State taught us the value of the goods we possess. It teaches us our way to possess goods,
which we did not have before. Now we possess many goods that our fathers didn't have, because
we know to produce the products searched for by the Whites. This is why the State wants that
we work with strength and perseverance to have money, not only to pay taxes, but even to
purchase many goods for our pleasure and to make our body robust, in the way of the Whites who
possess many goods.
11. THE STATE OFFERS US THE
OPPORTUNITY TO BUY EUROPEAN PRODUCTS
After having taught us the prices of the products we possess, and after having offered us the
opportunity to have some francs, we want to buy the goods that we didn't have before. But we
cannot order the products of Europe. We don't know the languages spoken there; we don't know
the countries that produce the imported goods. We don't know how to pay since their currency
is different from ours. We don't want to offer in advance money as long as we don't see the
product that we want to buy or those we don't have the opportunity of choosing it. But now
that the State takes care of the goods of the Whites for the time of the journey from Europe
to the Congo, now that the owners of the stores import all sorts of goods: clothes, blankets,
hats, shoes, soap, weapons, machinery and all other materials we need, we have the choice in
the stores of our own country. We see the quality, we feel the content of the materials, we
can appreciate the manner knives have been sharpened. This shows that we buy European products
with intelligence. To buy some products from Europe, is like buying a pirogue that is under
12. THE STATE HAS MADE MONETARY
UNITS FOR US
Before the arrival of the State, people came with shiny and very beautiful goods to exchange
against copal and ivory. We didn't know the value of the pearls or other goods that they had
brought and that devalued our riches indeed. Then, the State establishes the franc as monetary
unit with its under-multiples: the cent and the half-franc. In the Congo the franc keeps its
value everywhere. A cent remains a cent. They don't differ whether it is here or elsewhere. At
present we sell our goods and we are paid in francs. We know the value of the currency that we
have. From then on, we buy material goods where and whenever we will. We don't have any
difficulties anymore in this matter.
13. THE STATE BRINGS AID TO THE
The State has compassion towards those that are sick. It wants that everybody is in good
health. It is not happy with the existence of illnesses as skin diseases or sleeping sickness,
because they decrease the vigour, and cause death. In some villages, the State already
constructed hospitals and places of isolation for infectious illnesses, as leprosy and the
sleeping disease. The State invests a lot of money to stop some endemics. The physicians of
the State lavish free medical care to whom doesn't have the money. The State wants to promote
the training of male nurses on all the extent of the Colony. Currently, some compatriots
follow courses in the Schools of medicine in Mbandaka and elsewhere. They learn the European
medicines and the manners to heal the illnesses in the Congo. Another school of medicine is
implanted in Leopoldville, which means Kitambo. Any White can present himself to get some
instructions on the capture of the vector bugs of the sleeping illness. Even though someone is
not conscious that he caught this illness, he must know that some pathogenic microbes exist in
his organism. These microbes are not visible to the naked eye. A microscope is necessary to
help examine the blood. The microscope will attest if the blood contains these microbes. The
State gives the Whites who know these microbes the medicines to fight the microbes, which
remain in the organism. The physicians continue to look for other ways and means to stop this
illness. They work without relaxation to heal this illness, not only while taking care of the
patients but also while avoiding its propagation. For that reason one promulgated a law
forbidding whomever, Blacks or Whites, to travel by boat without an attestation of absence of
the vector microbes of the sleeping sickness. The physicians have examined the blood of most
people to stop the death by this illness. The physicians of the State in Kitambo refuse to the
passengers from Europe to get off the boat before they have conducted the medical exam of each
of them. In this way they want to discover the carriers of infectious illnesses for fear that
they are going to propagate these illnesses on the banks of our rivers.
A serious illness, which ravages Europe, is tuberculosis. The State doesn't want that the
White infected by this illness takes place on board of a boat toward the Congo. And if a White
catches this illness in the Congo, the State immediately evacuates him to Europe. The State
wants us warn about the sleeping sickness and many other illnesses.
14. THE STATE FORBIDS THE
CONSUMPTION OF HEMP
The State knows very well that the consumption of hemp destroys the intelligence and the body.
It destroys the organism slowly; although the consumer thinks that he is in good health. Hemp
is an ominous thing, reason for which the State forbids the consumption of it
15. THE STATE FORBIDS THE
EUROPEAN BEVERAGES (7)
An other harmful thing is forbidden to us. Although the Whites are conscious of the strength
of the European beverages, certain of them consume them and intoxicate themselves. A lot of
Whites that came here let women and children in Europe. By nostalgia, they believe to comfort
themselves by drinking. One also meets among the Whites as among the Blacks, people who
abstain of all intoxicating drink. The State is conscious of the effects of the drinking and
prevents the consumption of it, for fear to intoxicate the people.
16. THE STATE PROTECTS THE
We read in this book about a lot of products that the palms give us. Even if we pull a lot of
profits of it, some lazy people, in quest of the nuts of palm, cut the palms down. They are
afraid to climb, but they forget that a cut palm cannot produce nuts anymore. Because of the
future of our children and our grandchildren, the State forbids to cut some palms without a
17. THE STATE RECOMMENDS US
The State calls on the Whites who know some edible plants of the bangala region. In Eala,
close to Coquilhatville - that means Mbandaka - one arranges a very big garden. This garden is
called "Experimental Garden of the State." A lot of people go to visit these experimental
plants. The persons responsible of the garden ask for the seeds or the cuttings of other
bangala regions, and initiate some maintenance methods. After the experimentation in Eala, one
will call on all citizens to make use of it. Thus, we have following products: sorghum, leeks,
rice, papayas, coeurs de boeuf, bananas, avocados, mangoes, and oranges. Those that live in
swampy regions plant beans, sweet potatoes of Europe, tomatoes, okras, cabbages and other
plants for salad. It is for selling. They cultivate these products for their own subsistence
as well. Currently the natives consume all these too.
18. THE STATE WANTS TO SUPPRESS
The State knows that prosperous regions are those where monogamy is practiced. It is not
appropriate that a woman has several husbands or that a man has several wives. If a man
marries 10 women, 9 men remain without a women.
The State has dispossessed several patriarchs of their wives. It is now allowed to all women
wanting to leave polygamy, to do so. The State wants that a man and his wife have many
children. If someone has 4 children from only one wife, he is exempted of tax. He is exempt of
it for having made children with only one wife. The one that is polygamous pays taxes on the
basis of the number of his wives. The moment will come that we will no more know polygamy. The
elderly realize that the present situation is not good, but they will end accepting for every
man only one wife.
19. THE STATE TAKES IN HAND THE
The soldiers of the State are from our Congo. We are happy because the State takes care of our
compatriots. It give them clothes against the cold weather, and give them very efficient
blankets so that they can sleep well. A military hospital is built in Boma. Those that
returned from there have reported the State has taken care of the patients very well. A
soldier gets sick during his function or on the occasion of a war, he continues to receive his
pay. After one term of 7 years, the soldier receives an indemnity of exit of 500 francs.
20. THE STATE WANTS THAT OUR
CHILDREN BE INSTRUCTED AT THE SCHOOL.
The State wants that our children, boys and girls, be instructed at the school. Some Whites of
the State instruct the chiefs to order that their people construct a school. The State has
eight big schools in the biggest agglomerations of the Congo. In the schools of the State, the
teachers teach reading and writing in the language spoken by the children. Later some pupils
will learn French. Numerous are the young people who learn sewing, technique of navigation or
to work on the railroads. Others accept to dig minerals, to practise joinery, shoemaking,
bookbinding, and printing. Other pupils learn to become monitors or to be civil servants. And
as we already learned during this lesson, some others are trained in the art of healing the
21. THE STATE MAKES OUR LETTERS
Actually, this work is not really important, but it will be in the future. Although we live
separated of our relatives, the State sends to those that remain behind, our news, so that
they are informed of our work and of what happened to us. If our fellows travel very far, we
are happy to receive their news. Who wants to write a letter buys a stamp in return for some
francs, and glue it on an envelope. Because of this stamp, the captains of the boat or the
agents of the railroads will take care of the letter. They protect the letter of rain, of
termites or rats. When most people will know how to write, we will have quickly answers to our
letters and receive news of faraway regions (9).
22. THE STATE WANTS THAT WE
TAUGHT THE GOOD NEWS
The State accepts that the Whites and the Blacks announce the Good News of Jesus Messiah's in
all our villages.
23. THE STATE ACCEPTS GOD'S
The State accepts that every individual prays and praises Yahweh-God like he wants it. Each
will know what is required to adore God while reading his Bible.
24. THE STATE ACCEPTS OUR
The State accepts that God's children observe Sunday as the day of the Lord. If they want to
take a rest this day, no one will prevent them.
25. THE STATE PROCLAIMS THE
UNITY OF ALL COMPATRIOTS
Previously our ancestors were dispersed in several groups. Every group dreaded one another. We
didn't have any friends; we were enemies. But currently we have the State, And everybody lives
in peace and friendship. We all pay taxes. We think that we pay a lot of money. But these
francs are far insufficient in relation to what the State does for us. The State needs a lot
of money every year, but it pays with our money, so that the works of the State run smoothly.
We live in peace, without war, and we are sincerely delighted that we are citizens of the
Now we form only one territory, a big brotherly homeland, and the time will come that all
nationals of the Belgian Congo will look with pride at the symbol of our nation, the flag
1. On the funeral sacrifices, see G. Hulstaert, Les coutumes funéraires des Nkundo, Anthropos
2. The war of the dog, etumb'ea mbwa, is the name of a set of distresses due to the migrations
of the 19th century, caused by the Arabian invasions and the movements of the Ngombe in the
region of the northern Mongo. Different names were used as etumb'eki lofembe. See G.
Hulstaert, Buku ea mbaanda, Mbandaka, 1935, lesson 126.
3. The same argument also by J. 50 (1954), lesson 124 nr 4.
4. See " Duties of the chiefs ", in J.52 (1925), lesson 45-46.
5. A service of purchase of European goods by correspondence existed in the Congo.
6. We find a big number of these considerations in many of the booklets of hygiene.
7. The author of this text belongs to a Protestant Church (Disciples of the Christ, U.S.A.)
that asks the total abstinence of alcohol. For the legislation in this matter, see some
booklets like: Quelques notions sur la legislation du Congo. In the booklets of the Catholic
schools, I didn't find any warnings against alcohol.
8. A lesson of 6 pages (p.90-96, lesson 30), "Let us praise our Palm trees", enumerates and
explains all sections of the palm tree (25!) that are useful to people. The author opposes the
consumption of the palm wine.
9. The art of letter writing was part of the teaching from the beginning. Number of readers
gives examples of different sorts of letters.
10. A certain number of Readers insert a text on the Belgian flag. No word on the Congolese
flag in use during the colonial period.
There are some minor variants in the successive editions of this manual (1924, 1948 and 1954).
The lesson is preceded by a colour image of the Belgian flag.
A. a) "the manner of the Whites that possess many goods" is omitted in 1948 and 1954.
A. b) 1948 and 1954: " francs imo " = a certain amount
A. c) 1948 and 1954": Imeza te banto ba wengi bonanga baate ekelesia bekiyo (It accepts that
the inhabitants of every village have their Church;) We find echoes, of this lesson in Ekim'ea
Nsango by several Congolese authors. This magazine was written during several years by the
author of the booklet (Mrs. Hedges). See Ekim'ea nsango, 19(1932) 44-45; (1939); (1948) April
29, p.2; October. p.25-25.
A. d) omitted in 1948 and 1954
J. 38: FIDELITY TO THE STATE
(Oa nsonsolo, D.C.C.M., Bolenge, 1950)
a. To look for the history of
b. To master the history of Stanley and other Whites who have explored Africa.
c. To meditate on the changes brought by the Christian religion. To master the hymn " La
d. To impregnate you of the manner in which the State takes care of this country the Belgian
Congo. Also impregnate yourselves of the hymn "Vers l'Avenir" in French.
e. To be able to put in writing some instructions of the State for the well-being of this
J.90: THE STATE, lesson 36
(Buku na kutanga o lingala. III, Frères Maristes, Liège, 1927 (3d ed), p. 29-30)
The name of our chief of State,
our big chief, is Albert I. He took possession of his throne after Leopold II, his uncle, in
1909. His wife is called Elisabeth. Albert and Elisabeth put three children on the world:
Leopold, Charles and Marie-José. All are Catholics (1).
Not so long ago, Albert travelled to the Congo to become informed of everything that happened
in our country. He likes us a lot, us, the Congolese, with a sincere love (2). Albert lives in
Brussels, the capital of Belgium. That God protect him, that he doesn't abandon him in the
hands of his enemies.
1. The texts of the Catholic manuals on the kings (exception for Leopold II) bathe in
religiosity. cfr notes 2 of J 55, 7th part.
2. The same text with some small variants in Exercises de langage, J 52, lesson 12.
J.4: OUR SUPREME CHIEF, lesson
100 (Buku ea mbaanda, M.S.C., Mbandaka, 1935, p.63)
Our supreme chief comes before
the other chiefs of the earth. He governs all our country. His name is Leopold. He is the
first among all men of this country, because he has full authority. He replaced his father
Albert. Albert replaced another Leopold who began to unify all peoples of the Congo into one
nation of order and peace. He began to organize our country by thoughtful works.
Our supreme chief governs and organizes all the services of our country by which his agents
organize in our villages.
Leopold has a wife with which he is religiously married; he also has some children. As his
father, he testifies of a sincere love for his subjects. He wishes that our country became
organized and prosperous, that all live in peace, happiness, and prosperity.
Our chief is a faithful Christian. He encourages God's works; he arranges his business as God
and the Church prescribe. He never omits the prayers and the Mass.
In his residence in Europe, he has a chapel. It is very impressive. But he doesn't prohibit
any other Christian from praying there nor to follow the Mass there if they want to.
We thank God, because he gave us our good chief, to that he inspired a sincere love for his
subjects of the Congo. Pray God for him constantly, so that he has the physical and spiritual
strength to govern and organize our country in all its beauty.
J.30: HISTORY OF FAMOUS PEOPLE.
(Bonkanda wa nsango, C.B.M., Bongandanga, 1930, p.1-4, (1)
ALBERT, KING OF THE BELGIANS
Albert is the king of the Belgians and we, inhabitants of the Belgian Congo, we are under his
authority. He is above all those that are under his authority. King Albert is born in Brussels
on April 8, 1885. To the death of his uncle, Leopold II, he succeeded him on the throne
because Leopold II let no children. Albert's father is Philippe, Count of Flanders, and is the
younger brother of Leopold II. Albert had been enthroned king on December 23, 1909. He had
gotten married on October 2, 1900. His wife is called Elisabeth Valérie of Bavaria. From their
union, they had three children. Prince Leopold was born in Brussels on November 3, 1901;
prince Charles was born in Brussels on October 10, 1903; and princess Marie José was born in
Ostende on August 4, 1906. Prince Leopold came to the Congo in 1925. He was still young.
During his youth, Albert had sent him to study to get ready for his future responsibilities.
He was at the military academy and he left with a brilliant success. Since this time, he
undertook some journeys in the countries of Europe and America to become conscious of what was
happening there. And in 1909, he travelled for the Congo.
Since his accession to the throne until 1914, Albert didn't know any big difficulties, and for
that reason, he succeeded in a lot of good projects of works of all kind. The knowledge and
the harmony of a lot in dealings that make the pride of Belgium did only increase, and
everybody took in search of the knowledge and peace for all. But since 1914, the Great War
emerged in Europe, and from August 1914 to October 1918 the Belgians were in big difficulties.
In August 1914 the emperor of Germany wanted to send a military expedition in France, but he
had wished that Albert facilitated the passage of his soldiers to Brussels to reach France
quickly. To this effect, Albert united his staff and together they thought of the treaty by
which the countries of Europe had accepted that the soldiers in war couldn't pass by Belgium
to attack other countries. So Albert and his staff answered unanimously: "No, no; we cannot
allow them the passage in the name of this pact. We don't want it because it is bad. If the
emperor of Germany sends his soldiers, we are going to a war." It is in this way that Belgium
came into the war. The German soldiers occupied the whole of Belgian's territory, except one
part. During this war, Albert fought next to his soldiers. He learned the techniques of the
war in the military school and he mastered them well. He left not his soldiers during the war
but he was always with them as an leader. The German soldiers left Belgium after the war, and
Albert returned to Brussels with joy.
Since this time, Albert continued to accomplish others beautiful realizations that made his
renown through Europe and all continents. Albert was very appreciated by his subjects. He was
strong, polite and sympathetic, and he thought of all those that were under his power. In this
way, we appreciate him in the Congo as well. Let's carry on his realizations because we are
his subjects and he is our King.
"By me kings reign and rulers make laws that are just." Proverbs 8,15. By justice a king gives
a country stability" Proverbs 29,4. "If a king judges the poor with fairness, his throne will
always be secure" Proverbs 29,14.
ELISABETH, QUEEN OF THE
Elisabeth is born on July 25, 1878, his father is Charles, Duke of Bavaria. Her husband is
Albert, the king of the Belgians. The two have a big power in Belgium and the Belgian Congo is
their country. Elisabeth has three children: two boys and a girl. Their names are: Leopold,
Charles and Marie José.
Elisabeth is generous, and charitable towards the people.
A famous Belgian sculptor of the name of Laermans, was very appreciated by Elisabeth. One day
Laermans endured eye ache and was close to become blind. Elisabeth had mercy of him and helped
him personally. Another day, she met a weeping woman on the road; she stopped to ask her for
the reason of her tears. The woman answered: "I am in need because my husband is sick and we
have no money; our creditor would like to put an end to our contract of the unpaid rent, and
we will not find another house again". Elisabeth went with her to the house, and she paid for
all expenses to the owner and the woman left calmed. Elisabeth has always made charitable
acts. The Belgians say that she is their mother and they appreciate her a lot.
During the war she was next to her husband to take care of the wounded soldiers; she always
thought about them and helped them at all times. One way to help the soldiers was the
provision of food and medicines.
After the war, Elisabeth helped the damaged cities and unblocked a lot of money to find houses
to those that didn't have any more.
Something else that she likes to do is to fly by a machine, called a plane, she is not afraid.
When she travels from Belgium to England, she doesn't go by road, but she goes by plane.
Elisabeth doesn't ignore the problems of the Belgian Congo.
Not a long time ago, a teacher (2) from the Congo has met her in her residence in Belgium, and
she handed her dresses prepared by Congolese children. Elisabeth has taken these dresses and
thanked for it; she has conversed with this teacher. This woman lives now in Yalemba. (3)
Elisabeth is still energetic and strong; she makes a lot of realizations and journeys with
joy; she is very respected.
"A wife of noble character who
can find? She is more worth than rubies." "Her children arise and call her blessed; so does
her husband, and he praises her.'' Proverbs 31,10,28
1. Parallel texts in Ekim'ea nsango, Bolenge, 14(1927)1, 5-8; 15(1928)14,17; 15(1928)4, 1-3,
2. "a teacher" in lomongo " bolaki ow'omoto " (a feminine teacher). The word bolaki was also
used for the European " prédicateur-pasteur ." It is therefore probably about the woman of a
pastor of the Baptist Missionary Society, established in Yalemba.
3. Yalemba, Mission station of the Baptist Missionary Society, founded in 1908, close to the
mouth of the Aruwimi, on the Congo river.
J.55: THE GOVERNMENT OF
BELGIUM, 1. The Big Historical Facts, 7th part (Les Abandia. Frères de Saint Gabriel, Bondo,
1936, p. 38).
1. The Big Historical Facts
Before dying Leopold II handed the future of the Congo to the care of Belgium (1908). The
following year his nephew Albert I became the king of the Belgians. In 1914 the Germans
attacked Belgium, then the Congo. This was the Great War 1914-1918. Under the conduct of their
officers, the Black soldiers, among which are natives of all corners of the Congo won
brilliant victories. Since then Belgium governs two new regions: Ruanda and Urundi, situated
to the East of the Congo. Albert I, celebrated and beloved all over the world, died
accidentally in 1934. From then on his son Leopold III governs us.
Thought: May God protect free Belgium and his King.
2. The Royal family
Our king Leopold III governs Belgium, the Belgian Congo, and Ruanda-Urundi. He stays in
Brussels and ascended the throne in 1934 after the death of his regretted father: king Albert
I. Alas, our sovereign could not taste the family's joys during a long time. After a year of
reign his wife queen Astrid died accidentally on August 29, 1935, at the age of twenty-nine
She left three small orphans: princess Josephine Charlotte and the princes Baudouin and
Albert. The royal family is Catholic (2).
Leopold III likes the Blacks a lot. He came several times to visit them, and news of the Congo
always interest him to the highest point. Let's honour our king; obey him; that God attend him
and guide him in his multiple works.
Reminder: Long live our king Leopold III! Long live the royal family.
1. A text a little more elaborated was used in the same schools: Toyekola Lingala. Buku ya
babale, Bondo, 1938, J.56, lesson 26, p,. 125
2. J.9 and J.10 already qualified Albert's whole royal family as being Catholic. Here and in
J.7, Leopold III and his family receive the same qualifier. One underlines in J. 4 and J. 7b
that he is religiously married. The Buku ea mbaanda (J.4) adds there that he is a practicing
Catholic and that he has a Church in his palace. Baudouin is a zealous Christian for J.7b.
J.10: [LEOPOLD III and ASTRID],
lesson .52 (Buku na kuyekola botangi na lokoma o lingala, Brother Maristes, Buta, s.d. (1936,
4 éd) p. 77-78 (1).
Leopold III is the king of the
Belgians and of the Congolese. He knows and loves our country. He wants our well-being.
Astrid is the beloved wife of our king. She loves the Blacks, sincerely! Every year she sent
to the Congo some money to feed the patients in the hospital (1); She died on August 25, 1935.
The Belgians and the Congolese have been very afflicted. The children of Astrid are:
Josephine-Charlotte, Baudouin and Albert.
Let's pray the Lord for our chief, may he bless his work, and also bless our country.
Do never forget the memory of queen Astrid in your prayers. Let's include king Albert 1,
father of Leopold III, in our heart. When people learned about his death, they were deeply
touched, because he was an intelligent man and a Christian with a right heart.
Let's not forget queen Elisabeth, who likes us and helps us with her money (2).
1. Parallel texts in the protestants Ekim'ea nsango, Bolenge, 21(1934)3, 1-3; 22(1935)4, l.;
2. Allusion to the Queen Elisabeth Fund for Indigenous Medicare (FOREAMI) endowed in 1930 by
the Belgian State and by a grant of the Queen-Elizabeth following her journey in the Congo in
1928. In the protestant J.3, her charity and compassion are evoked as well.
J.7a: THE KING, lesson 19 (Buku
botangi na bangala na Uele, degrée: inférieur, Iie année), RR. PP. Dominicains, Niangara,
19. THE KING
The King's name, our big chief, is Leopold III (1). He already got married to only one woman
named Astrid. All two are Christian, and under God's eyes, they had three children named:
Baudouin, Josephine-Charlotte, Albert. Leopold III already visited the East of the Congo,
because is also under his jurisdiction. He named governors to manage the country. It is
convenient that people submit everywhere to the will of Leopold III, the big chief.
1. It is astonishing to read that "everywhere people submit to the will of Leopold III" at a
moment where he was impeached from reigning and even from entering the country. The version of
1953 (J 58) is already well adapted, but the photo maintains of Leopold III is maintained
J.58: THE KING OF THE BELGIANS,
lesson 16 (Mambi ma botangi, III, Lisala (Scheut), 1953, p. 30-32.
On the date of June 16, 1951,
King Leopold III bequeathed his power to his son. On June 17, Prince Baudouin began to reign
on Belgium and on the Congo, let's call him henceforth King Baudouin I. He begins a big work
whereas he is even young, but his courage makes him suitable for this work. Listen to the
words that he pronounced before all the authorities of Belgium: "The Kings that previously
reigned on Belgium swore to observe all the laws of Belgium, to defend the independence of our
country; as for me, I will swear to do the same; I am going to dedicate meself to my work, to
my duty to serve the country. When my father was a King, Belgium experienced some awful
events. I praise the courage of our soldiers and our compatriots; I honour respectfully the
memory of those who died during the war to defend their fatherland.
"The people of our country suffered indeed, but Belgium remained a sovereign state, a glorious
country. The enemies conquered neither Belgium nor the Congo. We remained with our own
Constitution. In our hearts we have only one desire: that we remain independent, that we be
" My father Leopold gave himself entirely to the country. He astonished the people, because he
stood by the sense of honour, he only looked for the good of the country, not for his own
interests. I thank the Belgians because they honoured him for that. I begin my work while all
our compatriots feel united. It encourages me. I am going to encourage all enterprise that
makes the country progresses and that generates new knowledge. My father advised me to observe
all the laws and the practices of the authority. I am going to observe them with care. May God
help me to make our country enjoy full happiness."
These are words of a young man, but spoken with the heart of an adult. Let we also like and
honour our king! Let's ask God that he protects Belgium and the Congo, that he protects our
King Baudouin carefully.
J.7b: THE CHIEF, lesson 19
(Buku na botangi 1-2, Dominicains, Niangara 1953, p.50-51)
Our first chief was Leopold
III. He got married religiously with only one woman; her name is Astrid. God blessed them with
3 children: Josephine-Charlotte, Baudouin and Albert.
Leopold dedicated himself to his duty. Afterwards, he passed the power to his son Baudouin.
This is why Baudouin is now our chief. He is a good sovereign and a ardent Christian. He sent
us some white chiefs to protect our territory.
Let's ask God that he blesses our chief.
THE CHORES AND THE TAXES
J.52: TAXES, lesson 43
(Exercises de langage lingala-français, Français-lingala, Frères Maristes, Liège 1925,
We use to pay taxes. A lot of
natives don't like to pay the taxes because they don't know to which purpose the State
What does one do with this money?
This money is used for:
a) Construction of barracks for the soldiers, for their dresses, food, rifles, and monthly
b) wages of the chiefs.
c) wages of the physicians who take care of us and heals the patients.
d) payment of all expenses for the education of the Blacks in the official schools.
e) payment for good roads.
f) payment for all the works executed for the good of the local communities.
The Whites also pay a lot of taxes.
The incomes of the tax are not sufficient to pay for all expenses of the State. But the
Government completes these incomes by other means. When we have to pay for the tax, the
collector asks these questions:
What is your name?
What is your first name?
What are your nicknames?
How old are you?
What is your occupation?
What is your father's name?
What is your mother's name?
What is your wife's name?
How many children do you have?
What are their names?
Of what tribe are you?
What is your village?
Who is your chief?
J.25: THE REASONS OF THE CHORES
OF THE STATE, lesson 33 Mateya ma lisolo, III. Livre du maître, Lisala, 1948, p 28.
THE REASONS OF THE CHORES OF
A. Why do the people cultivate rice? When the State has planted rice, what has it in mind for
people? (Money and food).
B. So, is the culture of rice not in relation with nutrition? When the State doesn't give a
credit to plant rice, don't go you to plant rice?
A. Does the practice to plant rice feed the country? So the compulsory culture of rice is it
not a good law?
B. Don't you want that your plantation produce a lot of rice? Are you then not going to
maintain your plantation well?
A. Is the suffering that work generates in vain? (No, master, suffering yields money, hardens
the body, and expiate sins).
A. While cultivating cotton, does the State educate us also? What does one manufacture with
B. Quote some clothes manufactured from the cotton: (Amerikani, indigo drill, indigo cretonne,
blankets, cloths for women, etc.). Where are these clothes manufactured? (Kinshasa).
A. So, while cultivating cotton, doesn't the State dress us? The world becomes pleasant
because of rice and cotton. Don't we have to rejoice ourselves?
B. Doesn't God feed and dress us in our own country? Is this a torture? (No).
B. Doesn't the State feed the country?
A. Is the cultivation of the rubber trees, like the State asks us, not a duty? Mention the
products from the rubber trees: (shoes, tires, tubes, balls, pipettes, raincoats, etc)
B. Does our country need rubber trees?
Doesn't the State maintain us by all these works? Are these works not in our own interest? Are
we not going to accept them?
1. Why does the State cultivate rice?
2. Why does the State cultivate cotton?
3. Why does the State cultivate rubber trees?
4. What does the State maintain?
5. Is the work of the State a big work?
J.25: TO REGISTER THEMSELVES BY
THE STATE. Lesson 34 (Mateya ma lisolo, II, Livre du maître, Lisala 1948, p.29
A. Who does govern our country?
(The State). If the State doesn't know its population, is he able to govern us well?
B. So, isn't it convenient that the whole population registers itself? When the State
registers, what does it want to know? (The names of the people, their languages, their
occupations, their dwellings).
A. If the State institutes this system, isn't it going to protect us appropriately? And if
someone is killed, will the offender be protected?
A. The register of the State contains the names of all people. All must make themselves to be
registered. Is the State going to know your name? What does one write in the register? (Name,
father and mother, village, sector and District, the names of boys and girls).
A. What do the parents do when a child is born? Should the father again to go there if the
B. Who detains the tax booklet? (Mister, the adult men detain the tax booklet). Children, make
sure that each one keeps this booklet carefully and carries it everywhere where he goes.
Otherwise, one will be arrested. If someone loses his tax booklet, he must look for another,
but he should pay a little money. The one leaves his village for a prolonged stay, say, for
about one month, he must have an authorization of the administrator of the Territory. The
White writes this act down in his tax booklet so that another White learns about it. The one
that doesn't fulfil this formality will be put in jail or will pay a fine. A man of a right
heart obeys all authorities.
1) Mention two works by which the State governs our country?
2) How does the State know the population?
3) Who delivers a booklet of identity?
4) When the State governs, is it allowed to know the people?
5) Do people have the permission to leave their villages for a longer time?
J.23: TAX, SOLDIERS,
ADMINISTRATION OF THE TERRITORY, Lesson 36 (Mateya ma bomonisi, Manual du maître, Lisala,
1955, p,. 93)
Preparations: The master shows
a tax booklet, a soldier's photo, and a photo of a policeman. He will prepare the heart of the
children to obedience, so that the children understand their duty to help the State and to
make the country prosperous by chores and taxes.
1. My pupils, the maintenance
of the country is a big work. It is good that the people help each other for the development
of the country. For this reason, the adult men will pay taxes according to the law.
2. Where does the money of the taxes go? This money never goes, even in part, to Europe; it
remains here. With this money, one constructs the houses of the State, clinics, pharmacies,
and schools, everywhere. One buys some drugs. One pays the chiefs, the judges, the soldiers,
the clerks, the policemen, the messengers, the agricultural monitors, and others. The monthly
salary of the teachers is paid with it. With it, one pays the road menders and those who
maintain the bridges. With the tax one will pay also all Whites. If there were not the taxes,
the regional development would not exist. Taxes are necessary.
3. The State also maintains the soldiers. These keep the country, help the leaders; forbid
unrest, put an end to wars. When the country is not in security, there are the soldiers who
will fight some wars by order of the State.
4. The administrator will give orders to the chiefs. The chiefs will send the policemen to the
villages. The children will see that the villages are maintained thanks to all people. The
people respect the words of all chiefs. Only all those that miss respect to these orders will
J.23: AGRICULTURE AND TRADE,
lesson 37 (Mateya my bomonisi, Manual of the main II, Lisala, 1955, P-96-97)
Preparations: In this lesson,
the master intends to increase the intelligence of the pupils, so that they know the value of
their country! That they may like working on the farm. Agriculture assures that a man earns
money with joy. Let the pupils like working.
1. The master will recall lesson n°15 (l). He will teach the riches of the country. He asks
what are these riches of the country: soil and the underground, flora and fauna. He will ask
for it in short.
2. Our parents didn't yet know the value of our country. The Whites revealed us the strength
of our country. But we won't benefit big incomes unless by the work of the Whites. Those that
have little work won't benefit at all.
3. The country can produce money. Listen: the White agronomists (2) came to prospect the
forest and the soil. They noticed some soils that were fitting for cotton, others for rice,
and others for rubber trees, others finally for peanuts, etc... They also indicated the way to
put the country in order, to have good families. This is the reason why every person is
obliged to have a job. To let the earth without yield is unacceptable. To yield money from the
earth - so that you have food and clothes, so that you have money to pay taxes and for the
propagation of the faith - isn't that a good thing?
4. So the work of the Whites of the State, which consists in imposing the cultivation of
cotton, rice, and peanuts, is useful. That is to educate people to gain money. These
cultivations let the Blacks have a lot of gains. They increase the economy from all over the
5. Our parents and our forebears suffered a lot because of the construction of the big roads.
But nowadays, these roads suit the vehicles that transport cotton, rice, and our various
products. Once, the roads were bad, the cars transported heavy weights and along the way, they
passed the night several times during one journey. Today a vehicle crosses the entire journey
in a single day. What a pleasure! All people are delighted with these roads. If ever you had
only a bicycle, wouldn't you be delighted with such roads?
Thus, whenever the chief convenes again the people to maintain the road, would you not accept
6. Let's like working. Let's go for agriculture. This kind of work will make that disgust and
temptations escape, and will sustain the body. The works ordered by the chiefs are not a
chore, but it is the fulfilment of God's command.
1. Do mention the three sorts of soils found in our country.
2. Do mention three sorts of animals of the fields.
3. Do mention three sorts of animals living in the forests of our country.
4. Who showed us the wealth of our country?
5. Those that don't work, will they get wealthy?
6. For what cultures did the Whites find the good soil?
7. What do you want to get while making the earth producing?
8. With what, the State, does maintain these people?
9. Are the efforts of the State to impose some cultures on the people vain?
10. What does agriculture do for the country?
11. To shape the roads is not a silly profession. Why?
12. Describe the hardship of the former tracks?
13. What is the advantage of the new roads?
14. Are the works of the Whites hard?
15. Do mention the advantages of working with the mind and with the body?
Homework: The pupils draw a road on which vehicles and bicycles travel.
1. Lesson 15: " Bana bakotambola o zamba " (The children going for a walk in the forest).
J.11: THREE SONGS OF
SCHOOLCHILDREN, (Nzembo ya bayekoli, 3rd edition. Frères Maristes, Stanleyville, 1927,6.7.8)
1. Return of the soldiers
Soldiers of Bula-Matari
You fought toughly
In Burundi, in Ujiji, in Tabora.
With all joy we sing
1. Finished the war, valiant
And the commanders all together.
They went back to the Congo, with happy heart,
They paraded with pride in their country
2. They retrieved father,
mother, all brothers,
Some, their wives and their children.
All feel delighted
They give thanks to God, since they survived
3. And thoughtfully
The soldiers who fought with
To others they give money (2)
[Tune of the song: see: Les voyez-vous les hussards, les dragons]
2. The soldiers of the Congo
For you soldiers,
You fought in the war,
Without being afraid,
You fought the enemies.
1. Oh! Our enemies
Wanted to seize the Congo;
It is Bula-Matari
Who called on you all.
2. With a lot of readiness, the
Left their barracks
Toward the Tanganyika
They are preceded there of the music
3. With rifle and ammunitions
Sword or sabre;
They fought with energy
And they beat the enemies
4. They took Rwanda,
Kigoma, Ujiji, Urundi,
They entered Tabora
All of a big joy
[Tune: Valereux Liégeois. Liederenboek, page 111
3. The Soldiers
Chorus: tan ran ran tan tan
tan, tan ran ran tan tan tan
tan ran ran tan tan tan
1. Brothers, the soldiers are
Listen to their bugles;
Watch, my children on the road
They arrive with pride; they have the same step,
The rifle to the shoulder, the bag to the back,
They arrive, they now arrive.
2. The soldiers of
With the multicoloured flag
Straight ahead, where do they go?
They go to the drill (3)
The commander pulls them,
He gives them the instructions,
The tough instructions of the soldiers,
Of the soldiers of the Uele.
3. A lot of children come
At side, they are delighted!
They dance, they dance in pairs,
All are wild of joy!
Now, as soldiers,
They parade with pride
Some before, others behind,
They dance amusingly.
Tune: The regiment that passes"
Claude Augé", I, p.6,
1. The texts of these songs have been published with commentary in the Bulletin Trimestriel du
CRAOCA, Brussels, 1998, 3,23-27,
2. In the Protestant booklet (J 31) of 1924, p.111-112, one finds the explanation "A soldier,
reached by an illness during the exercise of his functions or at the occasion of the war,
continues to receive the "francs". "After one term of 7 years, the soldier receives an
indemnity of 500 francs".
3. In Bambili, there was a instruction camp of the Force Public. This song evokes the
proximity and the observation of the exercises of the soldiers by the children.
J.56: BADAWOLI [Song of
schoolchildren] (Tokoyekola lingala, Buku ya babale, Frères de Saint Gabriel, Bondo, 938,
Badawoli is a soldier
He saw Kisangani
He studied a lot at the village
Tra la la, my brothers, Badawoli is a true soldier
Badawoli is a soldier
He is also a Christian
His first name is Matthias
Badawoli is a soldier
He lives from the State (1)
He perfectly obeys the Commander
Badawoli is a soldier
He is a soldier with elegance
He walks with pride
Badawoli is a soldier
He fires the rifle
He raises a powerful knife
Badawoli is a soldier
He works all day
Raining or not.
1. "He lives from the State." In lesson 48 of J.10, we read what this means: "The commander of
the soldiers gives them a rifle, a cover, a sweater, trousers and a house to sleep in. He pays
their wages every month. The soldiers have a ration."
J.10: THE SOLDIERS, lesson 48
(Buku na kuyekola botangi na lokoma o lingala, Buku II, Frères Maristes, Buta, s.d. (1936?),
Lesson 48: THE SOLDIERS
A lot of soldiers are in the Congo. We also give them a name: batukutuku. The soldiers make
every day exercises of gymnastics. They fire the rifle very well. They come with the Whites of
the State. They watch day and night. The soldiers are strong. They have fear of nothing; they
stop the bad men: they make the war. The commander of the soldiers gives them a rifle, a
cover, a sweater, trousers, and a house to sleep in. He pays their wages every month.
Saturday, the soldiers receive a food ration".
J.51: THE FLAG, lesson 16 (Mambi ma tanga
ndenge na II ndenge, Mpombu (Nieuw Antwerpen, 1920, p.23)
Every country has its own flag,
recognized by its colours. As for us, Belgians, our flag is a tricolour: black close to the
shaft, the yellow to the middle, and red at the end.
In every station of the State a big shaft has been erected for the flag to indicate that it is
a station of the State. The boat greets the flag by three strokes of the siren, by way of
homage. To a chief's tour in the villages under his control, the flag greets him. At the time
of official holydays, one decorates the houses with flags. At the time of the procession of
the Blessed Sacrament, Christians who hold the flags, greet the King of kings. When an
authority dies, one puts the flag to half-mast. The flag is hoisted at the occasion of
enjoyments and when the soldiers go in war. For what the soldiers do follow the flag? They
will go there with courage because of the flag.
The flag is the symbol of the country. The one that likes his country also likes its flag.
1. Other slightly different version in J.24.
A big number of manuals present
a general view on the inhabitants of the Colony. This presentation is sometimes very
incomplete, and don't testify of good ethnological knowledge of the country. The judgements
are not always flattering. Several manuals present, in separated lessons, the most remarkable
human groups that populate the region where the booklet is in use. In general, the inhabitants
are presented under a more positive light. The village is presented in an idyllic manner, the
natural habitat of the "savages" (christianised of course.) There are some Whites also in the
colony who are contrasted with the Blacks to that the outsiders are given in example. The
lessons on the Pygmies take over all the prejudices of the surrounding Bantus.
J.9: THE INHABITANTS OF THE
CONGO, lesson 37 (Buku na kutanga o lingala, III, Frères Maristes, Liege, 1927, 30-31)
The Congolese are black. One
has not yet counted the whole Congolese population. They are thousands. They are of all sorts
of people: the Basolongo, the Bakongo, the Bateke, the Bangala, the Bapoto, the Basoko, the
Babua, the Azande, the Bakango, the Bangbetu, the Batikitiki or Baka, etc
The Basolongo are situated close to the ocean. The Bakongo, down-river, live in Boma, Matadi,
Kisantu, to the left side of the river. These are the carriers and the courageous workers. The
Batekes dwell in Kitambo. They are keen tradesmen. The Bangala are in Mankanza, Mobeka, Lisala
and Bumba. They are of large size. They make a lot of tattoos to the forehead and near to the
ears. They shave their eyebrows and carve their teeth. They are not afraid to go in war. Many
Bangala aren't they soldiers of the State? They are, an intelligent people.
The Bapoto and the Basoko are the brothers of the Bangala. They also carry some tattoos. They
form big villages. They are good for the people. They manufacture spears and knives. They
capture a lot of fish.
The Babua, Bazande, Bakono, Bangbetus are people of the Uele.
J.28: THE PEOPLES OF THE CONGO,
1. Of the West side (1), J. E.E and. Carpentier. Banto ba monde, C.B.M., Bongandanga, 1929,
In the page that has just
ended, we read the histories of other people that live in the countries from the East to the
South of the desert (2). They surpassed some groups of black Africa in knowledge. In this
chapter, we are going to read the histories of other people that live in the West of Central
Africa. There is a country close to the big Congo River where they live in. It is not a small
country bordering only to one river as Egypt; but it is a very big country and there are a lot
of big rivers. These rivers throw themselves in the very big river named the Congo; all its
waters flow in the sea. In this country, the temperature is higher than in Uganda, but because
of the heat and water, one finds big forests there. Where there are not many trees, the corn
pushes well and passes even a man's size. In the forests of the Congo, there are wild animals,
such as lions, leopards, elephants, hippos, and other. These wild animals can be eaten; the
Congolese ate all them. Numerous people go often to hunt in the forest to look for the game,
and to procure skins.
1. The subtitle in lomongo: Wiji wa ilelo ea jefa is translated literally as: On the side of
the sunset (D-807), therefore the West. To situate the Congo (Belgian) on the West side of
Africa is a typically English approach.
2. In the previous pages, one presented Egypt, the Sahara, North Africa, and Uganda.
J.4: THE PEOPLES OF THE CONGO,
lesson 96 (Buku ea mbaanda, Mbandaka, 1935, p. 60-61)
People think that the Pygmies
or négrilles had come to live in the Congo before all other tribes. Some peoples are numerous
and form one big group. The Whites call them with the name of Bantu. One divides them in three
parties: the Bantus of the sea, the Bantus of the forest, and the Bantus of the Savannah,
according to their habitat. Another division in three groups is: the Bantus of the South, the
Bantus of the East, and the Bantus of the West.
Among the Bantus of the forest or of the West we meet a lot of tribes. Some are very
populated. Let's mention some of them: notably the Nkundo or Mongo and other tribes who live
near to them, i.e., the Mbole and the Elinga. The Nkundo or Mongo live in the regions on the
banks of the Jwafa, the Luilaka, the Lulonga and the Lokenye as far as on the sides of the
Lomami and the savannah of the Sankuru. They are related are at the Batetela, the Bakusu, the
Lokele, the Topokes and the Bafoto. The Elinga are related to the Basoko, the Bangalas (2),
and the Bobangi; they live on the Congo river and the banks of the Ubangi. Some tribes in this
group are Babua and Mangbetu in the Uele. A lot of these tribes live in the colonies of
The Wangenia is a tribe related with the Basoko. They are all of true riparian. They live on
the strands of Tsingitini, i.e. the down-river and upstream of the city of Kisangani. They are
very clever in fishing. The Bakuma stay beyond Kisangani.
The Bantus of the savannah are divided in a few big tribes: the Bakongo and the Bateke
downstream the Congo River. The Bayaka and Bampende live on the Kwango and Kwilu Rivers. Some
Basoko are downstream; they are very ferocious. On the East of them we find the Basilele and
the Bakuba. These are famous for their sculptures and for manufacturing pots. Upstream of them
live the Baluba. They live in the Kasai and in the Katanga. Some Balunda live on their side.
Between the Lualaba and Tanganyika there live a lot of small groups. To the East we find some
In the North of the Congo we find another group, which is close to us: they are Ngombe. Close
to the Ngombe we have the Ngbaka, the Ngbandi, the Buja and some other groups. But a lot of
groups are beyond the border of the Congo.
1. In this same Reader, the author especially presents the following groups: the Nkundo, the
Mbole which he relates to the Mongo), the Ngombe, the Bongando, the Elinga, the Batswa.
2. Hulstaert uses here the ethnonyme Bangala for which existence he will fight as a separate
ethnic group for the rest of his life.
J.28: THE PEOPLE OF AFRICA.
Exploratory notions (Banto Ba Monde, J. and E.E Carpenter, C.B.M., Bongandanga, 1929, p. 3-6)
In this book, we read the first
histories of the men living in our continent of Africa. Africa is a big continent but no one
even visited all its places. Some people arrived in certain corners and others in other places
of Africa, and they told the histories of the countries where they had lived in.
Everywhere where we live in Africa we look for the place where the sun rises, and we call this
the "East." Then we walk days and days and we will arrive in the big salty waters called the
"sea"; on the side of the North, there is a sea, and in the South, the same thing. Everywhere
where we go, we reach the sea, but this will take several months of journey. In this journey,
we will also cross many people of different sorts. On the other hand, there are several
rivers. There are hills called "mountains."
There are big countries, without herbs or cracks. In all these parts, there are dwellings of
people, and these people construct their houses in different manners and their food and their
dresses are different. We want to know the history of this continent and of the men that live
there because we too are from Africa. These people are old and young, men and women as among
us, but their languages are different from ours. Some are white and others are black, and the
languages that they speak are also different.
They construct some houses, and eat and dress in different ways, but we want to get used of
their behaviour. In this case, we are going to read in this book the histories and the
behaviour of some peoples among them. We will have the opportunity to be amazed about their
way of life. When we read this, we will know which men are there, and if our strengths permit
us, we will be able to arrive at their country, and to see them with our own eyes, because
they are all our brothers of Africa.
To the time, several peoples of Africa had no knowledge of the other inhabitants of the world,
because there are huge seas and big deserts. During these times, the encounter with the
peoples of Europe and of Asia to get acquainted which what they made at home, was only
possible for the inhabitants of Egypt. For that reason the Egyptians increased their knowledge
and their intelligence. On the other hand other Africans, who lived in the countries South of
the big desert, didn't have any knowledge beyond their own intelligence. Then, the Arabs began
to cross the desert in search of gold and Black slaves from Africa. These Arabs educated them
a little. After them, the Europeans crossed the sea with big boats. In the beginning, they
were tradesmen as the Arabs, but they also planted big plantations of cottons and tobacco,
because these plants don't push at home. They noticed that the Blacks of Africa didn't have
the requisite knowledge and lived under the daily fear of other peoples of which they dreaded
war and invasions. Afterwards, the peoples of Europe concluded some pacts with the chiefs, so
that today there are Governments of Europe in several countries of Africa; they all forbid
wars and murders.
In North Africa, France installs the Governors. In the Congo, Belgium, France, and Portugal
install Governors. Some countries of Europe send people to Africa to establish the peace so
that every man can organize his trade.
The arrival of the Europeans changed some business for the people of Africa. In ancient times,
everyone was engaged in war; some regions were destroyed; the natives killed each other or
made them into slaves. At present, the wars are finished, and there is an abundance of
activities. There is an increase of the population and there is no land to give some big
surfaces to everyone as before. The Europeans prefer that Blacks work in the big plantations.
Although the Africans want the goods which they didn't have before, and they look for money to
obtain them. Because of this, work replaced the wars. And the Europeans don't accept that
those that have a little bit of authority, accuse people falsely as before; they forbid the
wars, and maintain the roads; they construct bridges so that people can move comfortably and
quickly. No one accepted to abandon the former system, but as the young begin to imitate the
present system, the elderly find it bad; moreover, the arrival of the Europeans in Africa was
good for the Africans, because there are no more wars and some bad habits as the slavery and
the slaughter of people are finished.
J.21: THE TRIBES OF THE CONGO.
Lesson 18 (Botondoli mambi ma nse, V, Lisala 1944, p.14,
Talk: My children, our
forebears lived not in this country. They rather took it by force. The people who lived here
were the Batswa, a people of small size. Some of them remained in the province of Kisangani
and in others small villages. Then, from where come your forebears? Some come from the North
and the South. Maybe they have fled on this side. In the Congo we see the following peoples:
1. The Batswa in the forest. (The master writes the name to the black board).
2. The Sudanese to the North of the Congo: Azande, Ngbaka, Bganza, Ngbandi,
3. The Bantus in nearly the whole Congo. Here are the different sorts of these peoples: Budja,
Ngombe, Mongo, Nkundo, Bakuba, Batetela, Bena-lulua, Baluba, Bakongo and others.
4. The Hamites: Watutsi and Warundi (of the tall men to the East).
The schoolmaster will show the region of each people on the map, the children will copy in
their notebooks the sorts of people)
J.7b: THE PEOPLES OF THE CONGO,
lesson 20 (Buku na botangi, I,2, Niangara, 1953, p.. 51-53)
We find in the Congo Blacks and
Whites, but the Blacks are the true owners of this country. They distribute themselves in two
The Batikitiki (the Pygmies), the former inhabitants of the Congo. After the Pygmies a big
diversity of peoples arrived.
The Pygmies dispersed themselves in all the big forests; one finds them at home here in Watsa,
Ingi, Bolisi, Medze and Viadana (1). They are short, the colour of their body is clear, they
have a big head, a short neck, a flat nose, a lot of hairs to the body, short legs and long
arms. They are very clever to kill game. One calls them with other names: Bamambule or Baaka.
Other kinds of black peoples came after the Bamambute. They came from other countries.
As people from here, they were in search of fertile land or exploited the people who were here
The Bamoye are very big men, with very big heads, a big forehead, thick lips, with a clear
colour of their skin and slightly black. The big peoples of Bamoye that we find here are
called: Zande, Madi, Barambo, Mangbetu, Mayogos, Banghe, Bari, Mamvu, Mangbutu, Logo, Walese,
Makere, Baka and some others.
1. The author is talking here about the Pygmies of the Ituri, as described by Schebesta. The
author of the lesson seems to know only the Pygmies from his region, but evidently the Pygmies
are dispersed in the whole equatorial forest.
SOME SPECIFIC GROUPS
J.9: THE BAKANGO, lesson 40
(Buku na kutanga o lingala, III, Frères Maristes, Liege, 1927 (3rd ed.), p.33-34
The Bakango build their
villages on the banks or on the islands of the Uélé. Accustomed to water since their
childhood, they are excellent swimmers. They are also very strong and very skilful paddlers.
To descend or carry loads up the Uélé in the middle of the stones and the big rapids is not
very difficult in their eyes. During the dry season they don't abandon the water. They
construct some huts on the rocks, in the middle of the river.
They take a lot of fish. They kill hippos and crocodiles. When an elephant arrives in deep
water, they kill it with their spears. They plait some nets, make paddles, and good pirogues.
Among the Bakango there are farmers and blacksmiths also.
All are famous for their courage.
J.9: THE BABUA, lesson 39 (Buku
na kutanga o lingala, III, Frères Maristes, Liege, 1927 (3 ed., p. 32-33)
The countries of the Babua are
situated on the reunion of the affluents of the Uélé Bamokandi and the Rubi. The Babua are big
and strong; they are numerous. They wear tattoos, sharpen the teeth, pierce the ears, use oil
They kill a lot of animals and capture fish. They clear big fields, but far from the village.
They cultivate bananas, rice, cassava, corn, sorghum, and sugar cane. Their soil is very
fertile that produces a lot of things.
Their blacksmiths forge spears, axes, hoes, and big and small machetes.
The women manufacture baskets; weave ropes, chairs, and beds.
The Babua and the Bambili use to transport trunks and harvest a lot of rubber.
The Babua construct big villages along the roads. They do respect their chiefs as the Azande
do. It is a shame!
The big Babua chiefs send their children in the schools of Buta. Is this not wise?
J.28: THE UGANDANS, lesson 2
(J. E.E and. Carpenter, Banto ba Monde, C.B.M., Bongandanga, 1929, p. 26-28) (1)
The Ugandans are Blacks from
Africa. They are all like a same family and speak the same language, but other peoples from
Africa surround them, and these speak other languages. Since the arrival of the Whites of
Europe in Uganda, sixty years went by more or less and they found some even young
Before the arrival of these Whites, the peoples of Central Africa fought many wars, killed
several people, and caught others as slaves. Some of them were sold to the Arabs, who brought
them to Zanzibar in the East of Africa, and others crossed the sea to and finally some others
crossed the desert to go to Egypt. Some peoples surpassed others by strength and hunted them
out of the country that they had chosen. They took the entire country and united in only one
kingdom. One of these strong peoples are the Ugandans. Some people wanted to emigrate, out and
in, but the Ugandans preferred to remain forever on the banks of the big Victoria Nyanza Lake.
When the Europeans arrived in Uganda, they found that the Ugandans had a Patriarch or King
whom they venerated. This King had many collaborators. Some among them were second-in-commands
in his kingdom. Others had big responsibilities; one was a judge, and another Captain of the
soldiers. Others were to the service of the king's wives and of his children. Someone was
appointed to the drum by which the King called his servants; another kept the King's house.
Even though their assignments differed, all, the chief and the second-in-command and even of
other people, agreed that everyone should respect the King. For that reason, all were ready to
go for war or to work in the King's business with all dignity, and for that the Ugandans are
stronger and more intelligent than other peoples of Africa.
The dresses, that they carried previously were dresses in one piece, non sewn, but bent to the
knees and under the arms, rubbing the heels, as the loincloths of the women. Others bent on
their hips. These dresses are manufactured by barks. One immersed them in water during several
days to make them soft and one buried them as to become slippery and hard like a woven dress.
Their houses were in the shape of circles and constructed in bamboos, the roofs were very
steep, and the walls were low close to the earth. Small places were called villages, where,
there were not many people, and where these inhabitants had some kinship. The Ugandans had
other big centres, but currently one village became indeed big, it is Mengo, where the King
lived. People are going to this village for business, that is to say, some execute the King's
works, and others go to the market to sell the food products and the dresses of bark cloths.
The houses of the King and his chiefs were in woven bamboo, big and strong. The food products
of first necessity of the Ugandans were not fully ripe bananas, peeled, and wrapped in leaves
of bananas that get ripe. After that they cook the bananas gradually on fire in a pot with a
little water. When the meal is cooked, they crush cassava and untie the leaves and these are
used as their plates. Other food is cooked as beans and vegetables, and fish in banana leaves;
one eats this meal together with the bananas.
Some Ugandans look for fish in the lake, and when they want to go on journey they go toward
that lake; it is their path. A lot of Africans know how to carve pirogues, but the Ugandans
knew how to manufacture long pirogues whose two extremities were carved especially. These
dugouts had a big speed and could contain twenty to thirty people. Their lake is very large
and very deep; this makes that they were accustomed to sail there quickly. The storms there
can be very violent sometimes, and can reverse the dugouts, which don't have a ninepin. The
manner in which Ugandans manufactured their pirogues, and the way in which they constructed
the houses of their chiefs was different from the way of which other peoples execute these
works. When people begin to manufacture beautiful things of value, they don't loose time to
become intelligent and glorious.
1. The original version of this manual was probably destined to be used in several countries
J.4: THE NKUNDO, lesson 102
(Buku ea mbaanda, M.S.C., Mbandaka, 1935, p.64-65)
In another lesson we have read
that people of the Congo are divided in several groups. They distinguish themselves in
dialects, in manners and in their laws. Our true family is Nkundo. There was a time we had
different names for each. But the Whites call Mongo (1) all peoples that are related with us
by birth, by language and by customs.
On the Lulonga, one calls this region Mongo. But Mongo and Nkundo are two names of the same
tribe, the same language and the same customs.
Our people divide again in a lot of small tribes. Some are: Bokote, Bombwanja, Ntomba and
Bolenge, Boangi, Bonyanga and Lingoi, Injolo and the groups of Mongo descendants of
Eongwalanga, Nsongo, Mbonje, Ntomba, Bolaka, Nsamba and a lot of others.
Our people settled in the regions of the Tshuapa and Loilaka Rivers with their affluents,
Lolanga with affluents and Luo, and Lokenye, limited by the Lomami. It is a very big region
with streams and rivers. It is a ground with forests, fertile land, and rich swamps.
The Ekonda are in the group of the Nkundo and Mongo. They distinguish themselves a little by
the language, but they have the same customs as us. A part of the Ekonda lives in the Tshuapa
and Lofoi: their name is Ekota.
Some groups of the Nkundo live upstream of the Tshuapa and Lomela, but they also have some
particularities. There are two big groups with a lot of people, who are the Bosaka and the
Boyela. Another big family related to us are the Bongando. Another are the Bambole. Other
small tribes live in Maindombe. If we add the number of all Nkundo we count four hundred
1. For the problem of the Nkundo appellation or Mongo or Nkundo-Mongo, see G. Hulstaert,
Nkundo et Mongo, Aequatoria 4 (1941)2, 35-37. To a certain moment, Hulstaert and Boelaert
selected the word Mongo, first applied to the inhabitants to the North of the Ruki, to reserve
it exclusively to the big "cluster" of related ethnic groups that live in the buckle of the
Congo river. Hulstaert published a history of the Mongo, a course given at the Junior Seminary
of Bokuma in 1941-42 (Le Coq Chante), text that will be taken in 1957 in the school book:
Bosako wa Mongo (History of the Mongo).
J.7b: THE AZANDE (1), lesson 21
(Buku na botangi 1-2, Dominicans, Niangara, 1953, p.5 .55)
The country of the Zande is the
Uélé. The Zande were called once: The Avongara, Abandia, Akurangba.
The Azande don't have stretched out heads and a big nose as the Mangbetu. Their lips are small
and they didn't carve their teeth much. The colour of their skin is a bit light. Their body is
The Azande are intelligent: they manufacture: spears, knives, axes, hoes, baskets with lids
and things in ivory and silver. The Avongara are the chief of all others. The Azande like
their chief a lot; they construct for him big houses and a court for his wives. The chief's
policemen live in his court. Men with rifles stay on the road that leads to the chief's
village. The Azande respect and venerate their chiefs a lot. This behaviour is good, because
they obey the king's command quickly.
1. This text is very close to the one of J.9. The main difference in relation to this one is
the omission of the sentence: "The Azande notables send their children to school of Buta" i.e.
at the Maristes Brothers. Did the Dominicans prefer not to make advertising for this school of
the Marist Brothers and to keep the Azande children in their own schools?
J.28: THE PYGMIES (1) lesson 4.
(J. and. E.E. Carpentier, Banto ba monde, C.B.M., Bongandanga, 1929, p.38-39)
Now think about the people of
two other tribes, which live in the Congo. They are very different from the other peoples.
These people are the Pygmies. They are brown and black. They don't have any clean villages.
They are all hunters and wander around, and every man and his wife move with their children
where they ever want. When he arrives close to a village of another people, he cuts some
branches of trees, looks for herbs, and constructs a very low house in which no one else can
even stand up. The Pygmies are not as other black peoples of Central Africa; they are smaller,
and their head doesn't reach the shoulders of the other men. Their usual occupation is
hunting, and they kill some animals by arrows, spears, and bows. A Pygmy man obeys the chief
of the village where he lives in, but he doesn't fight for him or does work for him, like
other people. Whenever he wants, he leaves this village for another place. When the Pygmies
want the fruits or other food that the villagers possess, they throw an arrow there by way of
a sign. After having taken food they hang a packet of meat there as payment for what they
took. But they don't do this every time, because they excel in stealing of another's
properties merely. They don't provoke other people, and they speak their own language, they
don't become friends with other people, and marry the women of their own race only. The men
wear bark cloths and women of herbs. Most peoples of Central Africa like to have clean bodies
and as there is a lot of water, they wash every day. But the Pygmies refuse water, and they
are very dirty. They don't prepare their food in pots, but they smoke their meat. These people
named Pygmies surpass all others peoples of Africa in ignorance. They don't know that staying
in a village with people of his culture is better than to move constantly.
1. The title in the book is in French, but between parenthesis, the author adds: (Bafoto
mongo.) The denomination of bafoto is the one of a special group of pygmies localized to the
surroundings of Lisala, therefore close to the place where lived the author. See G. Hulstaert,
Notes on the language of the Bafoto, Anthropos 73(1978)113-132.
J.4: THE PYGMIES (1), lesson
125 (Buku ea mbaanda, M.S.C., Mbandaka,1935, p.79-80)
The Pygmy are a tribe which
lives together with the Nkundo and with some other tribes, such as the Baotos. Some groups of
Pygmy are called Balumbe, others Bilangi and Bone and a few other names more. At other places
in the Congo and in Africa, some groups are called Batswa.
Many think that the Pygmies are very clever at working in the forest. They don't ignore
hunting, and they know the manners of all animals; they don't get lost in the forest. As
riparian at home in the water, so are the Pygmies in the forest. They only live in the forest.
The Pygmies don't have any fields; they take care of neither their houses nor their
courtyards; they don't wash their clothes. They only live in the forest by things that they
find there. Their manner remains theirs. They don't look for greater intelligence nor for more
well being. The Pygmies are not polygamous as the other people of the Congo. So they apply
God's laws since the beginning of the world: that a man has only one wife. Several don't have
the opportunity of polygamy, for lack of means.
At the time when the Church arrived to the Congo to teach people the way of the heaven, the
Pygmies didn't want to become believers. Maybe they will believe afterward. But at the moment
they walk around and wander in the forest.
The State obliged a large quantity of Pygmies to come out of the forest, so that they live on
the road (2.) But they are not even accustomed in the villages and often they return to the
forest. They leave their habitat to flee again. And they are very disregarding to God's
business and to the business of the world.
1. The author, G. Hulstaert, had acquired his first knowledge of the customs of the Batswa at
the time of his stay from 1927 to 1936 in Flandria-Boteka. This mission organized a special
apostolate for the Pygmies, with a primary school exclusively for them.
2. Allusion to the attempt of the administration to settle the Pygmies while fixing them near
the roads newly built in the region.
J.52: THE DWARFS, lesson 14
(Exercises de langage: lingala-français et français-lingala, Frères Maristes, Liege, 1925,
The dwarfs of the Congo are a
race of very small people. They have a round head and a big stomach. They disperse themselves
by groups in the forest, between the other tribes. One meets them in the regions of the Uélé,
of the Aruwimi, of the Kasaï and between the Lualaba and the Tanganyika. They live in huts.
The dwarfs are big hunters. They hunt with small spears and arrows. They don't cultivate the
land. They exchange the game against fruits; at night they put meat in a certain place and
take the cassava, or the bananas that other people placed there. However they don't fear to
steal. The other tribes fear them because they wound their enemies unexpectedly with arrows
and hide then in the forest.
HOMELAND. THE VILLAGE
J.2: THE CONGO, MY COUNTRY,
n.33 song (Njembo nda nkundo, Soeurs du Précieux Sang; PP. Trappistes, Bamanya, Westmalle,
1911, p.18-19) (1)
Congo, my country, you surpass
All others countries.
Homeland of my father and my mother
Homeland where I was born
I greet you with love
With all Blacks.
Congo, my country, you surpass
All others countries
I greet you, big forest
With your trees,
Birds, monkeys, and arrows
My forest, I like you.
There is a lot of mpanga (2),
of mbuli (3), of nsombo (4), of mpambi (5)
And of edible caterpillars.
I greet you, big forest
With your trees
Hello the waters of the river
They whisper well
Fish, the fishhooks, and the lobster pots
I want to have a pirogue and a paddle
Because there is some
Mbeli (6), ntula (7), bekala, and bitsimbe (9)
Hello the waters of the greyish-brown streams
They whisper well
The songs, the dance of the
Procure us a lot of joy
To the field, to the game,
We sing to you, this country,
When the moon is full
It will gather us your people.
The songs, the dance of the Blacks, ,
Procure us a lot of joy
1. In a handwritten note nearby: "Deutschland".
Or it is a return to the melody or to the whole German song (text and melody) that would have
been taken as model and inspiration
2. mpanga: D.1364, antelope striped Boocercus Ogilb eurycerus.
3. mbuli, D. 1338, Limnotragus antelope Sclater spekii.
4. nsombo: D.1491, = Potamochoerus boar L porcus
5. mpambi: D.1364 = Cephalophus antelope Gray nigrifrons.
6. D.1329 mbeli, Clarias fish Stdr angolensis.
7. ntula, electric fish.
8. bekale, sing.bokala, fish sp. Clarias..
9. bitsimbe, sing. etsimbe: Fish Clarias sp., Clariidae.
J.4: MY VILLAGE, lesson 28
(Buku ea mbaanda, M.S.C., Mbandaka, 1935, p.19,
My village is big. There are a
lot of people: the elderly, which teach us the tales, the old people, and the young men. Two
rows of houses are there in parallel. The houses of dwelling are clean: the women clean and
weed the herbs every morning. A street by which passes people separates the two rows. Very
close to each street, a ditch has been dug to cary off the water of the rains for fear that it
destroys the street. When the herbs push again, the women and the children pull them
immediately or weed them, before collecting them with the help of a small braid, and to throw
them then away.
Some fruit trees stand in the court of the people. The palaver tree boala (Pentaclethra tree)
stands up very close to the street: the old people meet in its shade, preparing their
projects, and arranging the business of the village. The chapel is in the middle of the
village. The Christians and the catechumens unite during the prayer and for the catechisms,
after the catechist has hit the tam-tam. Another tam-tam is at the chief's house by which he
invites the population to work for the development of the village. Some people also possess
their own tam-tams.
Behind the houses, we meet a banana plantation that produces some bananas for us. Yards for
hens and ducks are at the rear court. Only people without care build hen houses before the
I appreciate my village where I am born, where live my parents.
J.53: THE FATHERLAND/
Conjugation, lesson 39 (Manuel pour apprendre le français, Tumba, 1926, p.143 and 144, nr 1
My homeland is the village where I am born, these live my parents and in my father's house.
These are the fields, the woods, and the rivers. These are the hills and the immense plains
where run antelopes and buffalos, leopards and elephants. My homeland is the big river with
its crocodiles, its hippos and its fish. My homeland is the Congo. Every day I pray for my
homeland and for the King who is its chief.
The Congolese live especially by hunting, fishing, and the culture of cassava, peanuts, and
bananas. They live especially very close to a river. Their houses are made in straw or in
adobe. They manufacture a lot of useful objects: spears, axes, bows and arrows, hoes, baskets,
clay pots. Their sell their produce to the Whites and buy from them materials and a lot of
Put the number 3 to the imperfect.
BLACKS AND WHITES
J.12: THE CONGOLESE, lesson 2,
(Tokoyekola lingala, Frères de Saint Gabriel, Bondo, 1937, p.8.)
The Congo is a big country
containing forests and waters. God put there a lot of animals to feed the people. The Blacks
live in the Congo. Previously they were savages, but currently their intelligence developed
itself quickly. We notice that a lot of money comes out of the hands of the workers. Some
Blacks are capable to buy a bicycle or a sewing machine.
But the wealth of the earth is vain in the eyes of God. The priests arrived at the Blacks to
teach the savages the faith in God. A lot of Blacks converted to their teaching. For that
reason we meet many good Christians in the Congo.
The priests take care of the souls of the Blacks; some physicians take care of the body of the
patients. Truly, the country of the Congo is progressing on the way of education. We thank God
for having sent the Belgians in our country.
J.61: HOW SHABANI BECAME TO GET
SETTLED LIKE A WHITE, lesson 22 (Livre de lecture français-lingala, p.106-107)
From this moment, Shabani
bought its timber by the sawyers of the village. As the orders became abundant, he took some
apprentices whom he taught the profession and who helped him in his work. He not only
manufactured furniture for the natives, but for the Whites as well
After a few years, he had saved enough money to buy an engine and a small universal machine.
The Whites who placed some orders said while seeing his installation: The natives begin to
work like us; we are very happy to note it, because work brings well being and peace.
The indigenous said: We would never have believed that our children could have bought such
machinery and work like the Whites.
And many natives scolded their sons saying: instead of going into class by the Whites, you
preferred to amuse you at the village and today you are only savages. If you had been in class
by the Whites, today you would be rich and be like Shabani.
Kamulete tells the children: Children, see what Shabani gained while following the advice of
J.61: WHY THE FORMER COMMANDER
CAME BACK TO THE VILLAGE OF CHIEF KAMULETE, lesson 30 (Livre de lecture français-lingala, s.d.
/ s.. l., p.146-154)
About ten years after Kamulete,
Shabani and Kasese had gotten settled at the village. The former commander of the village of
the Whites came back to the country. One morning, the inhabitants of chief Kamulete's village
saw him coming down in a car driven by a soldier. He had become old. The natives hastened to
direct him to the house of the chief. A smile illuminated his face when he met the chief.
He said: Chief, I am happy to see you again. You and me, we worked a lot for the good of the
country. I became old: The Whites quickly age in the Congo. I asked Boula-Matari for the
authorization to see my former District before returning forever to Belgium. He wanted to
grant it to me. How do the business of your village go? The chief reply to him: Commander, do
you remember that when you came for the first time in our village, a bit more than twenty
years ago, our village was composed of some groups of huts made of straw, lost in the bush? Do
you remember that the women and the children didn't wear any clothes and that the men were
only dressed of a piece of bark cloth, tied around the waist? Do you remember that you found,
in the small wood situated between our village and the village of the Whites, the bones of one
of your workers who had been murdered and had been eaten? Do you remember that you arrived one
day, to save the life of a poor old woman, accused by the sorcerer for having killed an old
man by her spells and was condemned to drink poison? Do you remember that one day you passed
on the trail of the village, a poisoned arrow, drawn by a native hidden in the bush, pierced
your helmet and that you told your soldiers: don't fire, you could kill some innocents? Do you
remember that you had to come many times with your soldiers to stop the villages from among
one another? Do you remember the time where the mothers didn't dare to let leave alone their
children in the village, for fear that they were stolen, or eaten, or others sold like slaves?
Do you remember how many the children died young, how ulcers gnawed the bodies of the men, of
the women and even of the children? Do you remember that when you asked Bula-Matari to send
schoolmasters to the village of the Whites, you had to send some Policemen to force the
children to come to the school?
Now look at our village. See these roads, these houses, and these fields. Are there in Europe
any more beautiful villages?
Do look at these men, these women, these children gathered before the veranda to see you,
aren't they dressed like Whites? Aren't they glittering of health?
If you tell them that their fathers ate human flesh, they will deny it. Speak them of the test
of poison that made so many victims among their forebears, and they won't understand you.
Count the number of the children of the village; they are three times as numerous as the
More than two hundred children attend the school of the village, and the school of the village
of the Whites has even more than two thousand students.
Once, our country was a world of the fear: fear of men, fear of spells, fear of spirits, fear
of wild animals.
Today, all fear has disappeared: the children circulate freely and alone through the whole
country. Only some elders believe still in spells and wild animals disappearing in the bush
and in marshes.
The commander let speak the old chief during a long time; then he replied: Chief, everything
that you have just said is true. You knew the time of the wars between villages, of the terror
of the sorcerers, of the tests of poison and the illnesses. You knew the time where your
people lived in huts, in which now they would not even accommodate their goats. You knew the
time when your people didn't have any other food than cassava and bananas of their poor
plantations, where they fought the ants, the grasshoppers, and the rats. You knew the time of
fear, misery, and the death.
Chief, this time would still
exist, if the King of the Belgians, the Big King Leopold II, had not sent to the Congo
officers to train some soldiers and to make reign peace in the country, and missionaries to
make people know God's law, and physicians to heal the sick, and judges to punish the
assassins and thieves, and administrators to help the chiefs to direct the villages, and
tradesmen to buy the produce of the country and to sell clothes, tools and household objects
which the people needed, and finally schoolmasters to make clever craftsmen of the children,
or prudent farmers, or educated, courageous and honest workers.
Chief, King Albert and after him his son Leopold III, continued the effort of the Big King and
their descendants will continues it on their turn. Chief, do never forget what the Kings of
Belgium did for the people of the Congo.
As long as you and your people will obey the orders and follow the advice of the Belgians
which the Kings of Belgium sent you, you will live in happiness
Chief, tell these things to all your people, say it to the children also, so that these repeat
it later to their children.
The commander and the chief visited the village then and stopped for a long time at the school
of Kamulete, at the shop of Shabani and at the farm of Kasese.
The chief said while speaking of them: Without the example of these three men, I would not
have succeeded in transforming the village. When the visit of the village was finished, the
commander told the chief: Chief, I now leave you. I won't see you any more in this life, and I
ask God to continue to bless your work. I leave without regrets, because I see that I made a
useful work in the country. Having said that, the commander went back by his car and returned
to the village of the Whites.
The chief, Kamulete, Shabani and Kasese went to greet the former commander before his
departure, and thanked him for the help and the protection he had granted them.
Today the chief is dead. His son succeeded him and walks on his traces. Kamulete, Shabani and
Kasese became old. Nothing is done in the village without their assent; these three people are
the ones who told me the story I have written in this book. The village became very big.
Health and well-being reign there. If you want to visit it, go there only on Sunday, because
during the week, everybody works from evening to morning, the children are in the school, the
women in their household and the men have gone to the fields and to the shops.
J.50: ABOUT THE CONGO, lesson
32 (Mateya ma lisolo, Manuel du maître, II,2, Lisala, 1954, p,. 42-43
1. The people who come
currently to the Congo see a beautiful country, where everywhere are constructed big roads on
which circulate the trucks; people dress well; small agglomerations became big! One built
houses made of bricks, houses for hospitals; for churches, stores, and several others.
People travel far; they are not afraid of people of another ethnic group any more. Previously,
it was not so.
2. With regard to the body, the situation was very sad. A misshapen baby was killed. People
died awfully of all sorts of illnesses. At former times, the wars between the villages were
frequent; Pity to those that were caught in a war; they were made slaves or eaten. Numerous
were also those who died at the time of the war of the Arabs; or made slaves and sold in other
Currently, all these problems are finished. The State forbade the wars strictly; one is going
to seek health in the hospital or in the pharmacy.
3. With regard to the mind, previously one knew neither to read nor to write; the children
only learned the professions of the village; they were illiterate indeed. Currently we see all
sorts of schools. We also see that the Blacks exercise all sorts of jobs that they learned at
4. Previously the Blacks didn't even know their soul; they only believed in fetishes, and in
false gods. Their religion is to be afraid of miseries and of all sorts of provocations by the
Then the priests arrived; they taught them the things of the true God. Currently, we see
churches in all villages, people pray, there are a lot of Christian, some of them even became
1. This text is close to the one of the lesson of 1908-1932 (J.51 and J.26) with the exception
of the mention of Stanley/Arabs [This part is elsewhere in the book]
J.33: THE WHITES IN OUR
COUNTRY, lesson 33 (Mateya ma lisolo, II, 2, Lisala, 1954 p.43-44)
1. The whole earth is God's
domain; He is the owner of the earth, he put there the useful things for the men, for the
animals, and for the plants in the forest, the fish in the water, the mineral deposits in the
soil. In the Congo, numerous things are useful to men. The people who lived previously here
didn't know the use of it; currently the young people don't know the utility of it either.
2. While arriving in this country, the Whites found here things of a big utility as mineral
deposits, iron, various precious stones, a fertile earth, all lying there in the ground for
nothing. They said: "All this wealth should go to us and to the people of this country." They
cultivated big plantations of all sorts of products; they prospected the land and extracted
all sorts of precious matters; they taught the people of this country all sorts of
professions; they constructed big roads. Some people began to cultivate plantations of
commercial goods as cotton, rice, etc.; others went to work at the companies; all earn money.
This country that was only forest and water, is transformed now in a country of wealth, of
beautiful villages, of splendid roads.
3. Some even enter into the following discussion while saying: "Why the Whites are mistreating
us with all these works" Mistreat, that is to say to introduce uselessly sufferings. Do the
Whites do that? If a physician asks a patient to swallow a bitter medicine, is this to
mistreat him? If one recommends the people to cultivate some fields so that they have food and
money, is this to mistreat them?
To make prosper the country, is a big work, a work that lasts; even though this work also
includes some suffering.
Ask people that lived here how the country was before, and how it became now: all will tell
you that the country is changed indeed; it is the work of the Whites.
THE MOTHER TONGUE
4. OUR LANGUAGE, Lesson 17
(Buku ea mbaanda, M.S.C., Mbandaka, 1935, p.12 (1)
God gave a language to people
so that they can speak it (2) and so that they live together as parents and friends on the
earth, that they converse with other people, and so that some teach to others all good things.
Every region has its language. There are several languages in the world. Every language has
its own way of speaking. All are good.
We have as our language lonkundo. Some name it very close to lomongo spoken on the Lolango and
Lulonga Rivers i.e. the Territory of Basankusu. The lonkundo or the lomongo, are the same
language. From one village to another, our language has some variations. But we clearly
understand one another. These variations are of little importance.
Some people, Whites and Blacks, speak other languages. A certain language, which the Whites
and their partners speak, arrived even here by us. The language in question is lingala.
Even though some people appreciate lingala well, we only appreciate most our lonkundo
language. This language is very lovely; it includes a lot of judicious meanings. We appreciate
it a lot, this language has been transmitted to us by our forebears. Our language has its own
beauty. We can express all realities. We appreciate our language and we remain attached to it
1. A whole literature, often in a controversial context, fills the local publications of
Coquilhatville by the Catholic Mission from 1936 onwards, often under the direct influence of
the author of this schoolbook, G. Hulstaert.
2. The language, for the author, is God's creature, and must be respected to this title. Cfr
his discussion with Mgr E. De Boeck : H. Vinck, Annales Aequatoria 15(1994)505-575, mainly the
letter of 27-6-1941.
The implantation of
Christianity in the Belgian colony has been interpreted in contradictory ways. The Mission
presented itself as the passage of the kingdom of the devil to the reign of the one God, the
first represented by the sorcerers, the second by the priests (missionaries.) The latter took
the school education in their hands, education that led straight to the kindness of the (true)
But the two factions representing Christianity, the Catholics and the Protestants, were not
disposed to collaborate. They didn't hesitate to discredit each other and not always by the
most honest means.
CORE AND HISTORY OF THE
J.1: THE SCAPULAR AND THE
ROSARY (Bonkanda wa mbaanda, p.23, Trappistes, Westmalle, 1908, (1).
If I see a man in a military
dress, I know he is a soldier and the same happens with a policeman. Why do I pesume this?
Because I recognize the person from his dress. How can you know that a person is a Christian?
If he carries his scapular and his rosary on the neck. Yes, a Christian is not afraid to show
his faith to his friends. My friends, it is good that the scapular and the rosary are always
respected. God is our Father, Mary is our Mother, and she often shows that she watches over
1. This lesson is very close to similar texts in Flanders during the first half of the
twentieth century. We reproduce it here because it illustrates to the letter the personal
history of Isidore Bakanja, beatified by the Pope Jean Paul II in Rome, April 24, 1994.
Bakanja was the disciple of the authors of this booklet.
2. The scapular was a small piece of cloth symbolizing the more complete religious garment
that historically was bound to a devotion to the Virgin Mary. On the day of his baptism such a
scapular has been imposed to the new baptized Bakanja.
J.2: THE TEARS OF A BLACK GIRL.
Song 34 (Njembo nda Nkundo, Soeurs du Précieux Sang et Pères Trappistes, Bamanya 1911, p.19-20
When I lived at the village
With my very gracious and beloved mother,
I stayed in poverty,
But without sadness.
In the house happiness is to its height
Because of her love.
The sufferings wait for me,
But I didn't know it;
Joy finished forever,
And in vain I cried;
To the market my father brings me;
And to a man he sells me. (2)
This one didn't take into
account the consent
Which comes from the heart; (3)
And six thousand iron rings
He gave for me.
So many tears on the market!
because of my beloved mother
I did only cry,
Then I became sick.
And the reaction of my husband?
He for me he requires well,;
The other brings him ten hens,
In manner of ransom. (4)
A true sadness
Slave (5), I had become,
Waited for me;
And when I took a rest, my lord
Sufferings and I took flight of
And one caught me up.
You look at me, my mother-beloved,
By force one stops me;
That doesn't change anything, only hunger and wounds
Didn't make me happy.
But only, God in the Heaven
Didn't misjudge his child;
He sent me in my poverty
A man in love of love,
The priest who took me,
He takes mercy of me.
He teaches me the goodness
Of God, my Father,
And that the suffering on the earth
Makes my happiness.
I only wish that the Creator
Calls on my mother-beloved.
1. This text is at a same time illuminating and confusing. The structure is clear: the custom,
represented by the girl's father, reduced the girl to misery and despair. Christianity,
represented by the Missionary, brings the liberation. But two problems persist: the girl's
misfortune is of fact caused by remoteness of her beloved mother and in the end, we read that
she discovers in Christianity that the suffering on earth has a value for happiness in the
heaven but she doesn't deliver her from her unhappy state. The beloved mother remains only a
wish. There is a mixture obviously between traditional and modern motives.
2. This doesn't correspond to the Mongo custom, the background of the poem.
3. The necessity of the consent is well present in the marriage of the Nkundo.
4. A "mourner" could certainly not be pleasing to her husband. She became sick, and therefore
of less value and the husband has the right to compensation.
5. The characterization of state of bride like a slave often returns in the Mongo literature.
For example in the poem of Bampele (G. Hulstaert, Poèmes Mongo Modernes, ARSOM, Brussels,
1972, p.13): "My brother says: You became a slave"
J.2: THE PUNISHMENT OF HAM (1),
song 35 (Njembo nda nkundo, Soeurs du Précieux Sang, PP. Trappistes, Bamanya, Westmalle, 1911,
p., 20) (1).
Oh Father Ham, what did you
We suffer a lot
By God we are punished
Toughly without mercy
The punishment that he inflicted to you
Is inherited by us all
You have mocked, you, bad son,
You have laughed at your father
And Noah, as punishment to you
And so: "Ham works
Still for his brothers"
And now your progeny
Of the slaves here on earth
What mercy for your people!
For reason of your malediction
All Blacks here
Regret your mistake
As you ridiculed your father
Your descendants ridicule you
They refuse your name
It means that
If you want blessings on earth,
Honour your father and your mother
1. H.Vinck, , Le mythe de Cham dans les livrets scolaires du Congo-Belge, Canadian Journal of
African Studies, 33(1999)2-3,642-647
The biblical references: Genesis, 9,1-27,
J.12: THE PRIEST, lesson 3,5
(Tokoyekola lingala, Frères de Saint Gabriel, Bondo, s.d. [Imprimatur of 1937], p.13
5. Reading: The Priest.
In the middle of the forest
The savages (1) were
holding "ardently" the wheel
The sorcerers (2) were happy
But the priest arrived
Speaking to the people of Jesus
He baptized them
And the sorcerer is exorcised 1 (3)
1. "Wild": in lingala of the booklet "basenji", sing., mosenji. See Fr Bontinck, The etymology
of the term bosenji, Annales Aequatoria 6(1985)210-213.
2.Sorcerer: in lingala of the booklet baloki. This word can mean as well the traditional
sorcerer, or in a Christian context: the devil.
3. The ceremony of the Catholic baptism consisted of several prayers and rituals of exorcism.
J.23: THE STATE AND THE CHURCH,
lesson 35 (Mateya ma bomonisi, Manuel du maître, Lisala, 1955, p.91-92)
Preparative: The master will
look for the names of the former Administrators.
He shows the list of the governments of the territory. He will also look for the names of the
Priests directing the mission. The master will show the endurance of the State and the
firmness of the Missions for the good working of the Territory. The Whites will exert
themselves to fortify the mind and body the entire person.
1. The Whites begin to save us. They don't let their work incomplete. They have the idea to
improve the entire person: the mind and the body.
2. Let's observe, my children; when the Pope of Rome saw us, he was delighted. Before, our
country was not known, but currently the roads are paved. The Pope sends us Priests and
Brothers and Sisters. All are under the bishop's authority.
The Church wants that we form happy homes, of peace and love, that we have the knowledge of
books and of different works! Let's not remain pagan; let's all become Christians, children of
God. Let's receive the benefits the Church offers us.
3. The Church maintains the whole person but especially the mind. The administrator of the
State governs the country, gives authority to our chiefs.
The chiefs make the villagers work on various maintenances of the village, maintain the roads,
take care of the patients, defend thefts and unrests, judge the business, develop the
4. In our village, we see the Chief of the "Secteur". Every village has a capita. The chief
has other auxiliaries, the judge, the physician, the agronomist, the surveyor, the telephone
operator, the planters, the tradesmen, and other people for various services. What misfortunes
when the priests and other Whites had not come here. The Blacks won't be civilised except by
the faith, and they want that priests and other Whites collaborate.
1. From where does the authority of the State come?
2. From where does the authority of the Church come?
3. Does God want that the State make crops grow?
4. Who had carved the roads in the Congo?
5. Who did the Pope of Rome send when he saw us?
6. The Priests, the Brothers, and the Sisters are under the authority of whom?
7. Did they leave Europe to come here?
8. Do mention three kindnesses, which the Church made for us?
9. What is the requirement of the administrator of the State?
10. Do mention four of the works that the authority requires for the maintenance?
11. What are the occupations of the judges?
12. Who are the area manager's collaborators?
13. Mention four ways of other Whites that we meet in our Territory?
14. Which kind of Whites will be respected by all people of the Territory?
15.What will the Church and the State do so that all people are well?
J. 54: MISERIES IN THE COUNTRY
OF THE BLACKS (1), lesson 14 (Buku ya Nzambe (Ancient Testament). Nsango Ndamu (NewTestament).
Mpe libandela lia Eklezia, Frères Maristes, Liege [Imprimatur of 1928], p. 234-235)
The first priests who came only
operated in the country of the Bakongo. Other tribes did not known any priests.
Stanley, back from the Congo in the year 1877, informed Leopold II and other Whites of the
miseries of the Bakongo.
From 1822, the Arabs arrived in the Congo via Tanganyika, with soldiers and rifles. They came
to make war. They penetrated in the villages and arrested people, robbing and shooting. Then,
they brought men, women and children to the market, and they sold them like slaves. If someone
was very sick, he was killed. Years after years, the Blacks left by thousands their home. Some
powers financed the Arabs. That is a pity. Another source of miseries, it is that the
Congolese don't love one another. A long time ago, there were many wars. Those who won the war
robbed the goods of the others, captured the enemies there, killed them, and ate them. In the
whole of the Congo people ate their likes. When someone became old, when a child was born
deformed, one killed him or her, one abandoned him or her, they didn't have mercy of them.
The animists, as many pagans don't know the true God, they believe in the fetishes. When a
misfortune falls on the village, when a parent falls sick, when someone dies, they say to
themselves: the enemy used sorcery; they consult a sorcerer, and make the presumed guilty
The animists don't believe in the true God, but everywhere they believe in the immortality of
the soul; elsewhere, they say that the soul goes to the body of an animal. When a chief dies,
one kills some of his wives and some slaves so that they follow him in the life of the other
world and there serve him.
1. Compare this lesson with lesson III, 21 of Bosako w'oyengwa J 34. This lesson shows the
inextricable entanglement of religion and colonization. The design of the lesson is very close
to several others reproduced here under the title: "History of the Arabs."
J.54: ARRIVAL OF THE PRIESTS IN
THE CONGO, lesson 15 (Buku ya Nzambe (Ancien Testament). Nsango Ndamu (New Will). Mpe
libandela lia Eklezia, Frères Maristes, Liege [Imprimatur: 1928], p.235-236)
When King Leopold II learned
about all the miseries of the Blacks, he had mercy of them. He sent his soldiers to fight the
Arabs and dislodge them; he asked the priests to evangelise the Blacks, and that they convert.
After some years, the commanders hunted the Arabs, so they put an end to their trade and to
The priests remembered in their heart Jesus' words: "Go, teach to all peoples the good news,
and baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son, and of the Holy Spirit". They left the
country of their parents because of the love towards God and towards the neighbours. The first
priests arrived in the year 1878 via Tanganyika. Since then, they arrived by hundreds; some
used their body by the apostolate, and went back to Europe; others died here; all worked to
pull the Blacks out of the abyss of the devil, and to show them the way that leads to
happiness, the path of the heaven.
At present one meets Christians in the whole Congo, they refuse the devil and the fetishes,
and the works of the devil, and they believe in only one God, the maker of heaven and earth;
they work for Jesus, with a sincere heart.
So the Belgians have saved the Blacks of the slavery of body and soul.
J.54: THE WORK OF THE PRIESTS
IN THE CONGO, lesson 16 (Buku Nzambe ya (Former Will). Nsango Ndamu (New Will). Mpe libandela
bound Eklezia, Frères Maristes, Liege [Imprimatur: 1928], p.236-237)
The priests don't abandon the
Christians. They give them a teaching to increase God's affair, to remove idolatry, and so to
purify the heart. They didn't forget the children: in their villages and in the towns of the
State, they created schools; they showed the kindness of the faith, they increased knowledge,
they saved the heart of the people.
When they saw the misery of the patients and of the elderly, they invited these people in
their homes; they took care of them. So they showed to the pagans the neighbour's love.
When Adam committed sin, God told him: "Work". The priests came in the country of the Congo,
and immediately they noticed all sorts of disorderly people, who had influenced others in
their villages. Money is exhausted quickly because of numerous abuses; the priests
demonstrated them the merit of savings. So God's teaching, work spirit and savings became a
source of happiness, and people are going to conform themselves of it in their villages. (1)
But the priests are not numerous enough. In the cities, the Brothers and the Sisters teach the
children. The priests chose among people those of a good heart to help them in their work;
they are called catechists.
To conform to the law of the Pope of Rome (2) the bishops choose among the honest children
some to train them to become priests. Some children express the desire to become Brother.
Girls, in the region of the Katanga (3) became Sisters.
1. The law of work as a religious requirement is often repeated. This is not exclusive for the
colonial or African situation. At the time there existed in the Catholic Church a whole
"theology of work."
2. At the time the Pope in Rome was Pius XI. He insisted on the indigenisation of the Catholic
Church and asked for the foundation of seminaries in the mission countries.
3. The directory of the Catholic Missions to the Belgian Congo of 1935 signals that the
Sisters of the Charity of Gent opened a house of formation for Sisters in Elisabethville with
8 indigenous novices.
J.30: HISTORY OF THE PROTESTANT
MISSION AND THE CONGO BALOLO MISSION, (Bonkanda wa nsango, C.B.M., Bongandanga, 1930,
The Protestant missionaries
arrived here in the 19th century. In 1878, two Whites from England disembarked at San
Salvador. They were called Grenfell and Comber. The King of the Congo, Dom Pedro, welcomed
them heartily. The Baptist Missionary Society (B.M.S.) sent them. When these Whites tried to
go from the Lower Congo to the Stanley Pool they were held up by very wild people.
On that Comber went back to England to look for other missionaries. He came back in 1879
accompanied by three other Whites: Crudington, Hartland and Bentley. They left all for San
Salvador, and established a station there. The station exists still today. From there, they
tried reach Stanley Pool to create another Station there. They arrived there, and one received
a concession for a station. It was in March 1881. Then the natives began to fight them. Before
this deathly danger, the Whites fled. At his return of Europe, Stanley brought aid to these
Whites and prohibited these ferocious people to fight them, and he permitted them to regain
their mission station at that place. Next, they began the exploration in order to found
missions stations on the banks of the Congo River. At the end of 1908, they had founded nine
of them, and more than 2000 people adhered to them.
In the beginning of the arrival
of the white missionaries, many died of illnesses. From 1878 to 1908, this Mission had sent
160 Whites, and some 50 died there.
Two Whites of another Mission of England arrived to the Congo in 1878. This mission was called
Livingstone Inland Mission (L.I.M.). Other Whites followed them, and they created mission
stations upstream and down-river. In 1884, this mission merged with an American mission named
American Baptist Foreign Missionary Society (A.B.F.M.S.). Since then the number of Protestant
missionaries increased. Here are the names of the Missions that had sent some Whites at this
time: Svenska Missionsforbundet (S.M.F.) (1881); Christian and Missionary Alliance (C.M.A.)
(1885); the Congo Balolo Mission (C.B.M.), our own Mission (1887), the American Presbyterian
Congo Mission (A.P.C.M.) (1890), the Disciples of Christ Congo Mission (D.C.C.M..) (1896).
D.C.C.M. is the mission that had replaced A.B.F.M.S. in Bolenge, close to Coquilhatville. Some
small missions also existed. Some others always sent new missionaries.
Currently the assembly of the Protestant missionaries delimited with justice the jurisdiction
of every mission so that every mission proclaims in his circumscription the teaching of Jesus
Messiah. We are governed by the C.B.M. We must know the episodes of our Mission. When our
Whites came, one called their mission the Livingstone Inland Mission (L.I.M.). This Mission
began in England in 1877. This Mission was born following the facts revealed by Stanley on the
Congo. And when some Whites of God read these reports, they heard the call of Yahweh to send
missionaries to the Congo. To this effect, they met and created a mission. They asked the
Christians for money to send some missionaries there. The first two missionaries were Craven
and Strom. They arrived at Banana in February 1878. Their arrival was very awful. They didn't
know the Congo and there were no people to welcome them. They found a White of a Company who
helped them. He took them on board of his boat to Boma. Arrived at Boma, they bought a big
pirogue with paddles and reached Noki. The Nokis welcomed them well. But these two Whites had
a lot of illnesses. To their recovery, they took the road back and arrived to Matadi where
they created a supply station and where they began to preach.. The White Craven lived seven
years in the Congo. Then he died.
The White Strom stayed not a long time. This mission sent other Whites. All wanted to go
farther. The first mission was in Pala-Bala, no far from Matadi on the path to Stanley Pool.
The chief of this region welcomed the Whites and gave them a concession, which they developed.
The other White continued the exploration and created another Mission station at
Banza-Manteka. The first dead missionary for the Lord in the Congo was Telford. He died in
Pala-Bala. And the first white woman, missionary to the Congo, was Mom Bosson. She was the
wife of the White Craven.
In 1880, the Whites of the L.I.M. sent some missionaries to create a station at Stanley Pool.
The White responsible for this mission was McCall. He fell sick along the way and returned. He
didn't arrive to his village in Europe, but died on the way at sea. Other Whites arrived and
reached Stanley Pool. Stanley conceded them a concession, and they created a station at
Leopoldville in 1883.
When the persons responsible of the mission learned in Europe that the missionaries arrived at
Stanley Pool, they bought a boat named "Henry Reed "which they sent to the Congo so that the
Whites could go up the river. The transportation of this boat from Matadi to Leopoldville was
a big work. It was disassembled, and transported to the river in Leopoldville for the
reassembling. Thereon, they embarked and sailed far up the river. They created a station in
Bolenge. Bolenge was the first station founded upstream by the Whites. From Bolenge, the
Whites sometimes explored the Ikelemba, and reached a big region situated on its banks, and
they stopped there. The chief of the region welcomed them and asked for missionaries. But the
Whites could frequently go there at that time.
The missionaries of the L.I.M. created seven stations: Mukimvika, Pala-Bala, Banza-Manteka,
Mukimbungu, Lukunga, Leopoldville, and Bolenge. Mukimvila is situated in territory under
dependence of Portugal, close to the Belgian Congo. The first Christian community began at
Banza-Manteka. Currently these mission stations are under the responsibility of other
missionary communities, and the Church is there in big expansion.
At the arrival of the missionaries of the L.I.M. the persons responsible of the Mission in
Europe had just created another Mission for the permanent evangelisation of the upstream
region. One called it the Congo Balolo Mission. It is our mission among the Mongo. Eight
missionaries arrived, and created a station at Bonginda. The person responsible was John
McKittrick (buried in Bonginda). Five missionaries died, but three others are still alive. One
of them, Miss de Hailes, is affected as a missionary in Bolobo.
The Whites bought another boat, named "Pionier." After their installation, the Whites sailed
up the river from Stanley Pool, and established a station in Lolanga. Then they left the river
for the Luwo (i.e. Lolonga River), and they arrived at Ikau, where they founded another
mission station. The inhabitants of these two regions were very ferocious at this time, and
the Whites found them performing satanic acts.
The missionaries of C.B.M. projected to propagate the Good News of the Lord Jesus in the
regions situated to the South of the Congo river. These peoples were called Ba-Lolo" at the
time. "That is why they left the river to build some stations on other rivers. They founded
some stations at Bonginda, Lolanga, Ikau, Bongandanga, Baringa, Mompono, Yuli and Yoseki. They
are now in search of a station in the Mongala region, because the jurisdiction of Lolanga is
too large. The most recent missionary station is Tamudjumbe.
Since our Mission is active, more than 50 Whites already died. Although work was difficult,
Yahweh helped his servants. Currently the work prospers, and the number of the Christian
The first boat of the mission was damaged, and the Whites bought another one, the
"Livingstone." It is a very big boat. One bought another bigger, which is called "
Livingstone" as well. There is also a boat named "Evangelist." The missionaries have thus the
possibility to travel on board of these boats with their Black helpers to proclaim Jesus
The white missionaries have all suffered because of the Lord in the Congo. They suffered from
illnesses, of abuses, of provocations, of indignation because of the ill behaviour of other
Christians. Many died. Currently the Whites in the Congo are adapted and don't die numerously
as before. The Congolese preachers begin to become numerous. They are auxiliaries of the
Whites for the cause of the Lord.
A Belgian Protestant mission in the Congo is the Belgian Protestant Missions Society in the
Congo (S.B.M.P.). The Whites of this mission are from Belgium. They work in Ruanda. Their
mission stations are: Kirunda, Iremera, and Rubengera. This mission didn't work yet a long
time in the Congo, but their efforts carry fruits, and they founded a Christian community.
There are some Protestants from Belgium in some missions in the Congo. Currently 23 Missions
send Missionaries into the Congo; the European pastors come from the following countries:
Belgium, America, Sweden, Norway, and England. They have 130 mission stations. There are more
than 500 white pastors. And the Black pastors number of 200, the other auxiliaries 4070. There
are 414 Christian communities, 8.089 temples and more than 60.000 Christians, more than 49.350
catechumens, and more then 90.000 schoolchildren. These missions have 15 hospitals, with 19
physicians, 34 nurses, 69 clinics, and 132 male nurses.
We realize that the missionary work increases, and good works come into the daylight because
of the Good News of Jesus Messiah, Saviour of the humanity. In 1928, the Whites of the
Protestant Missions met in Leopoldville to remember the kindness of God Yahweh. His News
arrived to the Congo 50 years ago.
We give thanks to Yahweh for having sent us his servants to teach us the News of the Eternal
EDUCATION AND CIVILIZATION
J.1: CONCLUSION, lesson 54
(Bonkanda wa mbaanda, PP. Trappistes, Bamanya, Westmalle, Bamanya, 1908, 32-33,
Dear friends, we have finished
this book. We printed it for those who want to read a book. You received intelligence from
God, and he wants that you do good, that you work with wisdom. Learn reading so that you know
how to read the catechism and other good books, that you teach your friends some good things
and the things of God. Learn to write so that you know how to write the good things you
learned, to send a letter to a friend. But know well that if you study a lot and if you don't
know the catechism, other business don't have any importance; first the catechism, other
We want to be good and intelligent Christians. Let's thank God.
J.26: EDUCATION, lesson 88
(Mambi ma botangi ndenge na ndenge, III, Mankanza Nouvel Antwerp, 1932, p.152-155)
Here we are at the end of our
Reader. We learned a lot. We heard that some things ennoble the body, and others ennoble the
mind. Many lessons nurtured our intelligence; certain others consolidated our heart to escape
the malice and to do good things.
Here in the school, the Fathers, the Brothers, and the Sisters educate us. To educate a child,
what does that mean? To educate a child, is to lead him with care from birth to adulthood. A
child is not born adult. When the parents abandon their child to himself, this child won't
progress, and will not arrive at the heaven. It is necessary that the parents supervise him.
The baptism places him on the path of salvation. He will learn history, God's things, the good
manners, and his duties. Grown up, his parents will warn him of the dangers, give him the
taste of work to live here on earth, so that he arrives at heaven by his own efforts.
We call all this education. Education entails the happiness of someone here on earth and the
eternal happiness in heaven.
Education, what happiness. If you educate a child well, he succeeds in life. If you don't
educate a child or if the education does not succeed, then the child will not succeed in life.
That is why, the Holy Church, our mother, always educates its youth with care.
Instruction is the way to education. One teaches hygiene by way of instruction. Instruction
offers intelligence to discern several realities. Instruction ennobles the heart of the child.
The basic principle of instruction is to educate the child entirely. Pupil, imagine that you
now have left your pagan village. Meditate a little bit on the intelligence that you now have
acquired, thanks to the Fathers and the Sisters. So give thanks to God for the immense
education which you have received. Numerous are the Christians and the pagans who remain
without education. God chose you among them and moreover you didn't arrive to the top of
The Fathers, the Sisters and the Brothers helped you to become a Christian, to know reading
and writing, to find work, to become an instructed person among the people. Be thankful.
Respect them until the end of your life. Listen to their words now and in the future, as long
as you are in the service which God commends you. Don't disregard the benefits of your
education. Don't annoy nor humiliates your educators. Stay as a good Christian, a regular
worker, a wise man in the eyes of God and of your friends.
Glory to Jesus Christ, amen. End
J.60: CATHOLIC WORKS AND
INSTITUTIONS, n° 29 (Petite Géographie, F.E.C., Leopoldville-West, 1939, (.5e ed.), p.12.
The Catholic missionaries
founded in the Congo more than 200 main stations and 400 to 500 secondary stations (250
schools of which are vocational schools for the formation of catechists and teachers,
orphanages and lazarettos, clinics, workshops). The missionaries dedicate themselves with an
admirable goodwill to their works of apostolate and charity. They work by all means to the
prosperity and the civilization of the Colony. They raise the Black up from his moral and
physical degradation, while procuring him the benefits of education and instruction, while
starting to teach him various professions and cultures, taking care of the patients, and
founding Christian villages etc.
They are assisted in their work of evangelisation by the precious aid of several communities
of teaching and hospital Sisters. These dedicate themselves to the teaching and the service of
the patients the fertile resources of a tireless and religious commitment; the well-versed
goodwill of these valiant messengers of the good news also spreads its field of action by the
marmots in the "Drops of milk" (1), and by the poor disinherited in the leprosies in the
middle of incurable wounds. The missionaries devote themselves also to the study of the
indigenous languages, of which they consign the vocabulary and the grammar.
1. So was named the distribution of milk in the clinics for the undernourished children during
the years 1930-40.
J.60: WORKS AND MISSIONARY
INSTITUTIONS, n° 29, (Petite Géographie, Procure, Ecole Professionnelle, Leopoldville-West,
s.d. 7th ed., p.9)
The missionaries founded in the
Congo hundreds of mission stations including: schools of all kinds according to the
necessities of the regions; orphanages, lazarettos, clinics, workshops, works of welfare.
The missionaries dedicated themselves to them with an admirable goodwill by works of
evangelism and charity, of education and instruction, of civilization and moral and material
They started learning the Congolese crafts and farming methods, they took care of the patients
and brought not only the light and the kindness of Christianity, but also they collaborated
mightily to the progress and the well-being of the Congolese populations.
The developpement of the study of the indigenous languages is due to the activity of the
missionaries. Their devotion is universal and their help spreads until the most disinherited
J.60: BENEFITS OF THE
CIVILIZATION, n°38 (Petite Géographie, Procure, Ecole Professionnelle, Leopoldville-West,
s.d., 7th ed., p.11)
1. Liberty and security, by the
abolition of the slavery and the ending of struggles between the races.
2. Raising of the black race by moral instruction, learning the crafts and more rational way
3. Struggle against the illnesses, especially the sleep disease by the expansion of the
medical service, by the creation of hospitals and lazarettos.
4. By facilitating travelling, by the construction of railways, roads, and boats.
5. Industrial progress by the use of the plant and the mineral products.
CATHOLICISM AND PROTESTANTISM
J.64: THE STRUGGLE AGAINST THE
CHURCH (Bonkanda wa baoi ba njimeja), 1944, 1949, Coquilhatville, p.85-93.
We have seen in the beginning
of this book that the devil waged a battle against us, he tempted us, he wanted that we
stumble so that we lose the happiness of our soul. As the devil fights our soul, he also
fights God's Church. The devil hates God, who threw him to the fire; and the devil hates the
Just because He is God's son. The devil hates God, the Just and the real Church because the
Church shows us the path to the heaven; then the Holy Church brings us in a beautiful village
which the devil lost because of the malice he did.
For a long time, which means since the beginning of the Church, the devil had excited bad
people to fight against the Church while mistreating and killing the Christians.
So, once upon a time, the unbelievers, the false prophets and the pagans, inspired by the
devil met to look for ways and means to annihilate the Church. Nowadays, they continue to
calumniate the Church while provoking vain discussions, and changing the senses of the Holy
Bible, but it is a waste of time. The Church is God's work, and by his help she is
disseminating the truth every day all over the world.
What is the true Church? It is the Church that Jesus has founded.
What is the name of the Church that Jesus has founded? We call it the Catholic Church.
Some groups name themselves Churches, but they with their similar teachings, are rudely
mistaken. There is only one Church as there is only one God. There is only one Church that
comes from God, it is the Church founded by Christ. Churches of any other nature come from the
devil. Because their founders are only people who have withdrawn from God's Church, because of
their bad desires. Most hate the Church because of their lust and pride.
Jesus showed us the false teachings when he told us to escape bad teachers who would come in
the skin of sheep but, actually, they were people comparable to a ferocious leopard capturing
men. However their own teachings will make you see their lies. One recognizes the fruit by its
In the beginning of the Church, the chiefs of the pagans killed the first Christian in big
numbers. So to speak, the devil hated the Church. But the devil wasted his time uselessly
because the number of Christians increased from day to day; without lingering, the Church
spread over the whole inhabited earth.
When the devil realized that he could not annihilate the Church while slaughtering the
Christians, he had another strategy: to send bad people to preach some lies. These false
preachers introduced falsities in Christ's Good News. That means they make a bad variety while
mixing some good things and lies.
The nasty propagated false teachings seriously, but the Church let us see their mistakes. The
Church is comparable to a good mother, she supervises her children. The Church unmasks with
Christ's help the false teachings quickly. He told Peter and the Apostles that he would be
with them until the end of the world.
False teachings don't last because God's spirit is not in them. Many former false teachings
are extinguished now; but a few new falsities still persist. Luther, a certain priest, left
the Church because of his extreme pride. When the Church blamed him because he taught some
lies, he didn't want to obey the Church and in his fury, he got rid of the cassock and dressed
like any White. He married a woman and in his bad conduct, he tricked a lot of people by his
false teachings. Luther caused a lot of sadness and this is the reason for which he died in a
Zwingli was also a priest; pride and adultery made him turn away from the good ways. He acted
badly and has found the death in a war.
Calvin also hurted the Church. The State had put him in jail because of his misdemeanours. He
underwent a cruel death, a venereal disease.
The founder of the Anglican Church was a White, the king of England, Henri VIII. This man, a
bad Christian had repudiated the wife of his religious marriage to marry another woman. The
woman of the Christian marriage was called Catherine, and the name of the second was Anna
He jailed his first wife. Without delay, Henri coveted another woman and killed his concubine,
Anne Boleyn. He had in total six wives: one died in jail, Henri killed two others, and some
were repudiated as usual.
The pope was informed of this business and blamed him. But, Henri did not listen to the voice
of the Church. He united the bishops and the priests so that they break up the religious
marriage with his first wife. As the bishops cannot dissolve a Christian marriage, they told
him: "We cannot break this religious marriage. Your wife is a good housewife; you are now
joint for seventeen years of common life. Why do you propose to repudiate her? She likes you,
she works well, she alone is your wife before God, and how do you dare to leave her"? On that,
Henri didn't listen to the voice of the Church anymore, his desire to have some sexual
intercourse outside of the marriage blinded him, and in this religious deviation, he killed
twenty-four bishops and seven hundred priests. Moreover, he founded the Protestant Church but
his subjects did not appreciate the new teachings. They told him: "You are a Christian as us,
why must you change Christ's teachings? Who gives you the power to change the things of the
Church?" Having been wounded by the truth, Henri was angry and killed all those that had given
up his teachings. One has counted seventy two thousand victims more or less (72.000). Some
died by the gallows, some by the sword, some were strangled, but most have died in jail
because of hunger and sufferings. A lot of English people went into exile, but some others
accepted the false teachings because of fear of death.
Dear readers, this is how the king of England founded a church for his own desire. Has Christ
founded the Holy Church in this way? No.
Let's have mercy of false teachers, and let's ask God that they may convert. That means that
the Lord opens their eyes because a lot of people ignore because they are not fixed on the
The king of England hated the Church because it forbade him to repudiate his wife of the
religious marriage to marry a second one, and this sad man passed his hate in the heart of his
subjects. And the one who hates his neighbour will also calumniate him.
Look how act all false teachers; they hate the Church, they calumniate it without reason.
Here are some false accusations towards the Church and its Christians; they say:
Firstly, the Christians would venerate the pictures of the Saints.
Secondly the Christians would say that the Penitence removes their sins even though they
Thirdly, the Christians would pray God with the lips but not with their heart.
Quarto, the Christians would always believe in everything that the Pope of Rome says.
Quinto, the Christians would pray and venerate Mary and the Pope as God.
These are merely false accusations.
The Christian realize the falsities that are in these accusations easily because the catechism
and the priests teach them correctly; let us reply to these lies and these calumnies. (.)
Most people calumniate the Christians by jealousy, but some tell bad things against them by
ignorance of the Christian things. If they would want to learn the catechism and some divine
things, they could not have talk against them.
J.65: CHAPTER 25. REFORMATION.
YEARS 1500-1600. (Besako bia Ekelesa), Bokotama the Reverend W.D. Armstrong, Congo Balolo
Mission. Belgian Congo, 1950.
The period of the Reformation
was between the years 1500 and 1600. The superstitions, the swindles, the bad conduct of the
priests and bishops had provoked a climate of exhaustion to the people. The Europeans were as
slaves under the claws of their pitiless masters; the master acted as he wanted with their
bodies and their souls, here on earth and even after their death. The serious shortcomings and
many bad practices of Rome angered the people. The simony (that means the purchase of the
ecclesiastical functions) and the indulgences were sold to have a lot of money; the
cohabitation of people who had a big authority, the brutality towards the persons who didn't
have the same thoughts than them. The chiefs of the Church said that they were Jesus'
disciples, but they behaved really like Satan. Money bought life and indulgences. The one that
possessed a lot of money could do all the bad things he wanted; it protected him by money; the
poor were considered like slaves. The popes and the priests were not alone the oppressors. The
kings and the rich were similar, as in their dealings. They transformed the disadvantaged
persons to beasts and they trampled on them. The priests recommended to people to give them a
tenth of all their holdings: one sheep out of ten, one goat out of ten, one hen out of ten
ten, and one tenth of all things that push in the fields, had to go to the priests.
The priests put people in penance at the cost of a fine, baptism was given at the cost of a
payment, and the funeral also intervened at the cost of a payment. Everybody believed than
maybe without the intervention of the priests, they would not have eternal life. They would
not enter into heaven.
The Church drew big profits because from the superstitions that it taught to the people. The
priests saved not the people, but they were themselves the transgressors of first rate. The
priests themselves were under the Pope's cruelty that took a lot of money of them. The Popes
were arrogant, egoists, stingy and resided in Rome with all abominations and turpitudes. Money
came from all corners of Europe towards Rome. The Pope proclaimed himself judge of all
business of mankind, the only judge; this is why the people came from everywhere so that their
business would be decided by him. The bad corrupted the Pope and this one made them win the
In Rome, there were a lot of people who had authority. The latter were part of the Church. But
before deciding a dispute, they required some gifts from the men in conflict. Often, before
pronouncing the verdict, one had to present the gifts to twenty or thirty authorities.
This power was sold to a big price to those who asked for it. The abomination, the
superstitions, and the bad things took roots in the Church. Some people tried, gradually, to
purge the Church of its abominations, but it was in vain. This abomination was the germ of bad
things and of the mistakes of the authorities in the Church.
Meantime Yahweh God straightened the unbelievers, these accepted the truth and gave up their
superstitions. They were people of big faith and perseverance. They knew that the teachings,
which they dispensed, and those of Rome were different, and that these would fall as seen in
the example of the heretics as John Huss. Or a persecution would intervene as in the times of
the Albigenses and the Vaudois. What was necessary to have in this struggle was courage
because their clash appeared to oppose a lamb to a leopard.
Martin Luther was the chief of the Reformation. He was a German. He was born in 1483. Germany
was a strong nation and enjoyed authority within Europe. Germany was divided in several
principalities and counted a lot of princes. The Popes considered Germany as their most
faithful maid, and this is the reason why these princes were friends of the Popes.
However the messages of Rome increased with regard to money. The Germans sent a lot of money
to Rome. People of any races hated the Church because of its cruelty but they demonstrated
nevertheless a desire to follow God. During this period, there was an awakening of conscience,
one had to search for the knowledge with wisdom, one wanted to learn the life style of the
former Greeks. They appreciated the Greeks, and concluded to imitate them in a lot of things.
The first preoccupation was to increase knowledge. They were in search of the truth.
Copernicus and Galilee had said the truth about the sun, the moon, and stars; Vasco da Gama
and Columbus had made long journeys over the sea; they had come back with true facts of the
countries they visited. Vesalius was fascinated by the human physiology. Men had read Greek
(the Hellenic language), Latin and gathered the ancient works. This desire of the truth pushed
them to compare the teachings of Rome and those that Jesus and his disciples had taught. They
discovered that Rome had deceived them and that these teachings were centred on untrue faith.
This desire to know was the beginning of this century of enlightenment, light, and force.
Luther was a monk who wanted to accomplish God's will in all truth. Everybody had admired him
because of his good conduct. He was wise and he had gone to increase his knowledge in the
university in which he was enrolled. But he was sceptical. Another aspect is that he was not
sure in everything, which he did for saving his soul. That is the reason for which he went to
the monastery. There the teachers dispensed him some courses and he tried to obey all their
commands. But the aim of their teachings was that the only good works could save. He fasted
and whipped himself, as to punish himself. One told him that he had not shown a deep
repentance. He spread his sins of every day to such height that his teacher felt exhausted
because of his wanderings. His body became skinny as he fasted, but it didn't have the peace
of the heart. The teacher defended him to read God's Book but, later an other teacher granted
him the favour of reading it. This man (John Staupitz) helped him a lot; he taught him the
truth: that God's justice found in a man's justice belongs to Jesus the Messiah. (1)
God arranged the path so that those who love him come closer to him and enter in communion
with him. The goal of our conversion is faith. By faith, we accept Jesus' justice as ours.
Without faith, all good actions do not save. The Just have life thanks to the faith" (1).
These things illuminated Luther's his darkness and brought him peace. He had read these things
in Paul's epistle to the Romans 1,17. By the adherence to this principle, he is of right the
first of the Reformation. He could continue to accept the teachings of Rome, he was a monk;
but he had to continue to search for the knowledge, and his intelligence would always go on.
In 1511, he was sent to Rome. He thought that he was going to meet honest men, but he stood
there before the Romans who didn't have faith in Yahweh God, and that was repugnant to him.
Some priests ridiculed the saint things that they offered, and those that occupied a high rank
in the Church committed some sins without shame. He regained Germany, and there, he became the
teacher of God's knowledge in a city named Wittenburg.
What made Luther so angry against the Roman Church, was primary the sale of indulgences. The
Pope's letters were sold in the cities of Germany and multiplied the bad practices of the
people. They wanted ardently to buy them and Rome won a lot of money because of the purchase
of them. The reason of the existence of the indulgences was to write a letter that saves the
life of the men from new punishments that the Church had inflicted on them because of the sins
that these people had committed.
The clergy taught that the one who would confesses his sins would live and would escape
eternal damnation. But the clergy also had multiplied some actions that people had to do as
signs of repentance because of their sins. Indulgence was synonymous of a life of the actions
that one recommended. They had not believed that "Jesus' blood could remove all sins", but "if
we confess our sins, faithful and just as he is, he will forgive us our sins." (1 John: 7,9).
The clergy said that it detained the power that Jesus had bequeathed to his disciples in these
things, "those to that you will remit the sins, they will be remitted" (John: 20,23). Everyone
believed that the indulgence constituted life, and maybe they bought this letter to escape all
their pains (...)
Melanchthon was Luther's friend and had worked with him. He was wise and delightful, he had
written well in several languages. His books helped the Protestants in Germany. At this
moment, the men learned to write by the machine and this machinery helped the Reformation very
much. Some books were published in huge quantity and there was an increase of knowledge.
Thousands of people bought the books of Luther and of some scholars; this is how light sprang
up everywhere. The Europeans seemed to sleep during 1000 years but at this moment people woke
up and began to become aware of their situation. The Popes, the bishops, and the kings had
attempted to subjugate people, so that they remained in darkness, but it was in vain. There
was a sunrise; light appeared everywhere, and the men were delighted because of this light.
1. The key concept of the Protestant theology related to this sentence of the Letter to the
Romans 1,17 (and Hebrews 10, 38 and Galatians 3,11) is the one of "Justification" The
Protestants in the successive translations (1908-1930-1971) of the Bible in lomongo translate
it like liongi, based on the root. (b)ong that means (according to G. Hulstaert, Dictionnaire
Lomongo-Français, Tervuren 1958, p.40) : "meetings, to be able, to agree". Hulstaert himself
uses the word lisembi (Dict.1184) of the root - semb(ama) (Dict. - 1617: "to be right").
J.65: CHAPTER 27. THE
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE CATHOLIC RELIGION AND PROTESTANTISM. (Besako bia Ekelesa), Bokotama the
Reverend W.D. Armstrong. Congo Balolo Mission. Belgian Congo. 1930. p.80-87.
Before we write some things, it
is good that we say a word on the difference that exists between the Catholic Religion and
Protestantism. The reader who has discernment already knows that the Romans (1) are Catholics
(the priests) and we are the Protestants. As we have seen, they are the first Church that
welcomed many superstitions pulling their origin in practices that some preachers had taught
without good judgement. And afterward people accepted their beliefs while saying that they had
the same veracity as the Bible. We believe that the Bible has been written by the people who
were guided by the Holy Spirit (2), and that God inspired these writings. (2 Timothy 3:16;
Romans 1,2; 2 Pierre 1, 21-22). All the New Testament has been written, hundreds of years ago.
Then, we won't accept that some writings that have been added later unite rightfully to this
book. (Book of Revelation 22:18-19). The Romans consider the Bible as a book of Law. They
think that the Bible translated in Latin, named Vulgate (translated by Jerome) has a big
power. However the Vulgate and the former texts written in Greek presented several differences
on many points.
The Romans have faith in the traditions, that means some practices that people once followed,,
like the practices of people as Origin, Jerome and Cyprian who are considered as "Fathers."
This belief is the basis of a lot of mistakes as the veneration of the saints, the purgatory,
the transubstantiation, the respect to the relics and the prayers in favour of the dead. When
a certain Father preaches, his teaching is considered like truth by some people who will come
after him, and if this Father commits a mistake, he misleads of all those who have confidence
in his speech.
The Romans confess some serious offences to the priests who they believe to be intermediate
between Yahweh God and men. We teach thus: "Confess therefore your sins to each other and pray
one for another, in order to be healed" (James: 5-16), but one doesn't teach us to confess
before the priests. (Hebrews 7:24).
In the primitive Church, there were not any priests like the priests of Rome. We confess our
mistakes to Yahweh God, and only he saves us by Jesus the Messiah. (Romans 10:9; Jean 1:9; 1
John 4,15). The Romans affirm that a man can be saved from his sins by the penance (punishment
inflicted by the priests), but this is not sufficient. Then the human souls are purified after
the death by the fire of the Purgatory. We don't believe in these things, because they are not
written in the Bible. We affirm, "Jesus' blood purifies us of all sin". (I John: l7); and "if
we confess our sins, faithful and just as he is, he will forgive us our sins" (I John: 1:7-9).
The Romans affirm that they are just in God's eyes because of their good actions. We affirm
that our justice goes together with the faith in Jesus who made us heirs of his justice. (2
The Romans bow before Mary and the Saints, and venerate the relics and the statues. This
inclination is for us pure idolatry. (Exodus 20:4-5; Acts of the Apostles 15,29; 21:25;
Revelation 21:8; Revelation 22:15; I John 5:2-1).
The Romans believe that the priest has the power on the Table of Communion to change wine and
bread in the blood and in the body of Jesus the Messiah. We believe that this Last Supper is
only a commemoration; wine and bread don't undergo any change, and they remain as they were
before. (Luc 22:19; I Corinthians 11:24,25).
The Roman Church has a firm command, which defends the marriage of the priests, and one knows
a lot of serious shortcomings because of this command. The Church of the Reformation doesn't
obey this command, we believe in the things that are written (in the Holy Scriptures): "The
marriage be honoured by all". (Hebrews 13:4).
The Romans have faith in the prayers for the deaths. We don't believe in this teaching because
it is not mentioned in the Bible. (Revelation 14, 13).
The Roman religion is a religion of pictures and objects in view of everybody. They prostrate
before statues and the priests carry dresses of mark in their assemblies. They speak Latin
that is not known by the plain people. In the Protestant religion, we adore Yahweh God in
mind, no through pictures, and we speak a language known to everybody. (John 4:23; I
Corinthians 14:127; Psalms 51:16; Acts of the Apostles 1:24) (..).
CHAPTER 28. THE PROTESTANTISM
INCREASES. THE PERSECUTIONS BY THE CATHOLIC RELIGION.
Protestantism spread quickly
over Europe. Some devoted Protestants in Germany and in Scandinavia followed Luther, but
France, England, Scotland, Holland, and a part of Switzerland joined Calvin. By the advent of
Protestantism, the cruelty and the lack of the knowledge had decreased little by little; light
and life, and money were in abundance. The South of Europe was part of the Church of Rome,
notably, Italy, Spain and Austria; but the North of Europe was Protestant. When the Romans
realized that the Europeans abandoned their teachings, they attempted to fight them, and in
1540 a certain Community named "Jesuits" was founded. The meaning of this name is: "Jesus'
Society". It doesn't have for goal to fight teaching of the Protestants. They had accepted to
go everywhere the pope sends them. They worked ardently and some were wise men. One of them
François Xavier, was a accepted preacher of great renown. He went to Japan, India, and China
to preach to the people. One must venerate him. However, the Protestant hated the Community of
the Jesuits; numerous of them were known for serious shortcomings and as spies. They are
comparable to the leopard wearing the skin of a lamb. They were ousted in a lot of cities
because of their actions.
On that, the Pope united the Church leaders in the city of Trente to improve the teachings of
the Roman Church. They thought about the new teachings. At the end the meeting concluded that
the Pope was the chief of the Church and that his power was above all religious assemblies.
They considered the Vulgate like a Bible having the utmost authority. They rejected Luther's
teachings on faith, and concluded that the traditions and the Bible didn't contradict
themselves with regard to the doctrine.
The inquisition became widespread. The right of inquisition was called "Holy Right, but it was
only the work of Satan. As we read the cruel history of this time, we shiver of terror. This
merry-go-round formed itself in secret. All hereticals were arrested and were questioned
without witness. In the event the Inquisition would affirm that, one was a heretical and it
was decided to burn him. And if one didn't want to respect what he had said before, they made
him suffer atrociously by means of knives, fire, and instruments causing sufferings of all
sorts. Some countries increased the power of the inquisition, as Spain and is colonies, Italy
also. A certain writer, Florente, tells that Torquimada had sent 9000 people to the stake in
1600. Thousands of people suffered in Europe, as they had the same religious convictions like
The Popes didn't have the power to open a court of inquisition in whatever country if the king
of that country didn't agree, and punishment was also inflicted to the king's servants. The
Church transferred the accused to the hands of the State so that they would be punished. The
cruelties of the inquisition were digested badly by the Protestants since that time, and their
actions are one of the major reasons of hate between Protestants and Catholics. (... )
A big persecution raged also in Holland, but the Protestants overcame their oppressors and
delivered themselves from their hands.
In Belgium, the persecution took also place and the Catholics beat the Protestants. This is
the reason why the Catholics are there so numerous. In Germany, there were thirty years of war
between Catholics and Protestants and in 1648 these wars stopped because of the "Treaty of
Westphalia." This took place in all countries of Europe: the Catholics tried to destroy the
Protestants by force, but they couldn't succeed while the Protestants had the words of life,
the truth, and the perseverance. We think that those who died because of their Protestantism
are more numerous than the martyrs at the time of ancient Rome, which persecuted the people
who followed Jesus and didn't have faith to the idols.
CHAPTER 29. THE EXTENSION OF
PROTESTANTISM. THE FRUITS OF PROTESTANTISM
Spain was a powerful kingdom at
the time of the Reformation, and they propagated the teachings of Rome in their colonies of
South America. This is the reason why South America is a continent that believes in the
teachings of Rome today. However the power of Spain vanished, and it lost its colonies. In
1620, a group of men and a hundred women left England for America by the mean of the
"Mayflower boat". They were in search of a country where they could pray Yahweh God like they
wanted. The cruelty that reigned in Europe was at the basis of the search of their relief. In
the new world, they had the liberty to propagate the Protestantism that they had welcomed.
They met a lot of obstacles but they surmounted them, and the pure religion that one finds
today in America is the fruit of the seeds planted at that moment. Protestantism harmonizes
from that day with liberty. Wealth and growth of the knowledge come from Protestantism and,
today America nearly surpasses all others continents in wealth and all young are schooled. It
was in the same way that England looked for the delivery of his people of this severe
1. Ba-Rome is the expression used in this booklet to indicate the Catholics. We keep the
expression as is in the translation. Another expressions is: BaMonpère.
2. Bolimo w'olotsi: " Esprit de bonté " is the term used by the Protestants for Holy Spirit.
The Catholics use the expression Filito ey'Oyengwa or Spirit of Holiness.