LEMBA 1650-1930 A DRUM of Affliction in Africa and the New by Janzen

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Scholars who identify an indigenous equivalent for "tribe" or "ethnie" usually use the term mvila (also luvila, pi. tuvila). " This query suggests that he may have been dealing with slaves who have no legal genealogical identity, and that like many other scholars he misunderstood the character of the mvila. —should be defined as an exogamous, matrilineal descent category traced back to a putative common ancestor, with emphasis on its categorial nature. The mvila is not primarily an organized group; it is rather an element in a social worldview within which nine or twelve exogamous and therefore intermarrying tuvila are posited to have existed "in the beginning," and from which various bifurcations and branches may be traced.

Until recently hunting was an important subsistence activity in the entire region. Its important status is attested to by the knowledge of the net, trap, and stalking techniques found in adjoining regions such as the Cameroons where hunting still survives as a primary activity. Of edible animals, elephants, buffalo, a variety of antelope, and smaller animals as well as birds of many kinds constituted the source of food. This status is still reflected in the symbols of Lemba. Archaeological research in the region has documented the existence of a variety of prehistoric lithic industries and of ancient hunting traditions dating back for millennia.

Khimba Longo,Kimpasi, zndNdembo were analyzed in terms of this grid; Lemba was again overlooked. In the conclusion of a lecture given in 1923 to the Semaine d'Ethnologie Religieuse DeJonghe departed from his well-reasoned, academic survey to give a more visceral summation of African secret societies. They are a "threat to the colonial order," he began. " Although they are often "tribal in their boundaries, they can become intertribal," like the notorious Aniota leopard cult which utilized violence on its oppo­ nents.

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