Le panos nsambe vili

Le panos nsambos est un pagne  de  raphia vili de qualité resistant, mélangé de raphia et de fibres d'ananas, motifs de dessins dessus , pagnes reservés aux  notables.Nsambos peut etre un terme qui s'applique avec peut etre une correlation avec la religion, osambos ou nzambi signifie, ou Nzambi pungu signifie le premier le chef, souverain qui reçoit ses pouvoirs du ciel.

the heads of important lineages when summoned to a royal audience would arrive at the royal court preceded by servants who carried a large cloth which would be spread out as a carpet for their master.Weavers in Ngoyo produced a cloth called in the Portuguese sources panos nsambes, which was also exported to the Sonyo province of the Kongo kingdom on the south side of the Zaire river. The name suggests that one of the royal families of the kingdom, Nsambo, may have originally commissioned the cloth or controlled its distribution. Another cloth, less elaborate but with a similar design, also had restricted circulation since only the wealthy could afford to buy it or have it made. Two other raphia cloths with a plain weave were worn by most of the population.
Phyllis M. Martin 
Indiana University 
Cloth was a basic resource for the peoples of the Loango 
Coast' throughout their precolonial history. It was used in 
daily life for furnishings and for clothing; it was essential in 
landmark events such as initiation and burial ceremonies; it was 
part of key transactions that cemented lineage and state 
alliances; and it served as a currency. The importation of 
European cloth from the sixteenth century began a transition 
from indigenous, domestically produced cloth to a reliance on 
foreign cloth, but cloth maintained its significance as a key 
resource at all levels of society. Access to sources of cloth 
and control of its distribution were closely associated with the 
wielding of power, whether by royal administrators, lineage 
elders, religious specialists or merchant-brokers. 
Raphia Cloth Production 
The great rainforests of Central Africa reach their western 
margins in the mountainous Mayombe region in the hinterland of 
the Loango Coast. This was also the inland limit of the three 
kingdoms that historically dominated the area - Ngoyo, Kakongo 
and, the largest, Loango. In these fringes of the equatorial 
forest, palm trees grew in such profusion that a late sixteenth- 
century account referred to the region as "the land of palms."2 
Of the many varieties, several were important in cloth 
production. The fibers of the "bamboo" or wine palm, rafia 
vinifera or ntombe, were commonly used for the most basic cloth 
and for currency; and from the leaf fibers of the fan palm, 
hyphaene guineensis or nteva, cloths of particularly high 
quality were woven.3 The trees were both cultivated and grew 
wild. Andrew Battell, who lived on the Loango Coast in the 
first decade of the seventeenth century, wrote "of their palm 
trees which they keep watering and cutting every year, they make 
velvets, satins, taffetas, damasks, sarsenets and such like; out 
of the leaves, cleansed and purged, drawing long threads and 
even, for that purpose."4 Samuel Brun in 1612 indicated the 
care with which the trees were planted at the Loango capital, 
writing that they "were planted like grape vines," while Pieter 
van de Broecke about the same time described wine palm trees 
that had been planted around the royal court.5 Seventeenth- 
century sources are silent on who had rights to exploit the 
trees, but sources for related Bakongo groups in the lower Zaire 
region indicate that palm trees belonged to the families of 
those who had planted them and were inheritable property; others 
could request the right to use the trees, however, and rights 
would fall into abeyance if the site of a village was 
The production of raphia cloth was in the hands of the men 
and boys who planted and tended the trees, cut the leaves, 
extracted and prepared the fibers, and wove the cloth on upright 
looms. Very simple cloths might also be woven without a loom. 
In the late eighteenth century, French missionaries described a 
"grass-cloth" that "they make on their knees without a shuttle 
or loom ... as our basket-makers do with their wattle."7 The 
craft of weaving was widely known as a part-time occupation, but 
there were also specialists who passed on their skills from 
master to junior family member. Certain provinces of Loango 
where palm trees grew abundantly were known for their cloth 
production. In mbanza Loango, the capital, royal weavers 
produced cloths for use by the ruler and by those authorized by 
The size of a woven piece of cloth was limited by the 
lengths of the palm fibers, since they were not joined together. 
The basic piece of cloth used for currency, a libongo (pl. 
mbongo), was about fourteen inches square and described as about 
the size of a large handkerchief. These or larger pieces made 
from the longest and finest fibers were sewn together with 
raphia or pineapple threads to form strips of equal length that 
were joined together for a waist-cloth. Several mbongo could be 
produced in a day once the loom was set up; fifteen or sixteen 
days were necessary to complete the finest royal cloths. The 
basic cloth was a plain weave, but a variety of colors could be 
achieved by exposing the fibers in the sun for different periods 
of time or through coloring them with takula (redwood), 
charcoal, and chalk.9 Men were also famous for their skills in 
making the high-status caps worn by chiefs throughout the Loango 
Coast and lower Zaire region. According to Andrew Battell, "the 
men of this kingdom make a good store of palm cloth of sundry 
sorts, very fine and curious. They are never idle for they make 
fine caps of need-lework as they go in the street."10 
Uses of Raphia Cloth 
The multiple usage of cloth explains its significance for 
Loango Coast societies. Clothing itself was a visible reminder 
of a person's place in society. The display of prestige cloth 
whose production involved considerable investment of labor was 
part of what has been called the "politics of costume."" In 
Loango only the ruler, or one to whom he had granted the favor, 
could wear the most beautiful cloths and any attempt to sell 
these without royal permission was punishable by execution. The 
Loango ruler also displayed his wealth by receiving visitors 
while seated in a chair which was placed on a large carpet made 
from a "velvet" cloth about thirty yards in circumference, and 
the heads of important lineages when summoned to a royal 
audience would arrive at the royal court preceded by servants 
who carried a large cloth which would be spread out as a carpet 
for their master.12 Weavers in Ngoyo produced a cloth called in 
the Portuguese sources panos nsambes, which was also exported to 
the Sonyo province of the Kongo kingdom on the south side of the 
Zaire river. The name suggests that one of the royal families 
of the kingdom, Nsambo, may have originally commissioned the 
cloth or controlled its distribution. Another cloth, less 
elaborate but with a similar design, also had restricted 
circulation since only the wealthy could afford to buy it or 
have it made. Two other raphia cloths with a plain weave were 
worn by most of the population.13 
Cloth was essential in many of the important events in an 
individual's life. The newborn was laid on a piece of raphia 
cloth; young people at initiation wore raphia cloth skirts; the 
suitor of a young girl carried palm wine and cloth as presents 
for her family; cloth was used to pay legal fees.14 The elders 
and the wealthy could manipulate power through controlling the 
circulation of raphia cloth and passing it on to their juniors 
and dependents who lacked cloth or the means to acquire it.15 
At the same time, higher and lower chiefs in the administration 
of the kingdom celebrated their authority through the exchange 
of cloth on important political occasions. Thus, there was 
reciprocal cloth-giving at the installation of the rulers of 
Ngoyo and Loango; and in Kakongo, chiefs gave and received 
prestige goods, including cloth, when they were appointed.16 
Those who could afford to do so hoarded baskets of cloth in 
their homes as savings for such extraordinary expenses and for 
times of crisis. It was reported of the Maloango in 1612, for 
example, that at his court there were "houses full of ivory, 
copper, and libongos."17 
Cloth was important in the clothing of the dead as it was 
for the living, for it announced a person's rank on arrival in 
the next world and made the transition easier. The burial of 
prestige cloth was the ultimate disregard for the value of labor 
which dominated the lives of villagers.18 Seventeenth-century 
accounts of burials on the Loango coast describe procedures that 
varied with the rank or wealth of the individual and of his 
family. Distinctive features concerned the number of mourners, 
the length of the mourning period, the preparation of the body 
for burial, the number or type of objects buried with the body, 
but dressing the dead person well, wrapping the body in raphia 
cloth, and putting cloths from family and friends in the grave 
were common features of the ritual.19 
The Loango Coast raphia cloth had many of the attributes of 
a sound currency. Its general acceptability and multiple usage 
kept it in constant demand. Mbongo could be used at once in 
local markets to buy foodstuffs and other items for household 
consumption; they could be made into clothes, wall-hangings, 
bags, and floor or bed coverings; or they could be a store of 
value for future expense. Some raphia cloth which was used as 
currency remained just that for years and was never used for 
another purpose.20 Raphia cloth was also reasonably durable and 
portable. Soldiers in Angola who were paid in raphia cloth 
imported from Loango by the Portuguese found that they could not 
only use it to buy food and slaves but that they could sew 
pieces together and make tents which could withstand the wind 
and rain.21 Furthermore, mbongo could be packaged into 
different units of account, for example by joining the loose 
ends of the fibers together to form a "book" or by tying them 
together in bundles. Mbongo might be packaged together in units 
of four, ten, twenty, forty, or a hundred. A unit of account 
called a mukuta, which consisted of ten mbongo wrapped or sewn 
together in a strip, was commonly found on the Loango Coast, in 
the lower Zaire region and at Luanda. So essential was an 
adequate supply ofV Loango Coast raphia cloth for the smooth 
running of the Angolan slave-trade that the Portuguese issued a 
contract in Lisbon to an individual to maintain a factory at 
Loango for the export of mbongo to Luanda. He was granted a 
monopoly and the Angolan government further tried to control the 
value and circulation of the cloth currency by stamping the arms 
of Portugal once or twice on the imported raphia cloth, thus 
creating new "denominations."22 
Raphia cloth was essentially what has been termed a "self- 
regulating" currency, that is, a currency that will maintain its 
value through being in common usage even where no strong 
government can guarantee its worth.23 In the case of the Loango 
ruler in the early seventeenth century, however, he may have 
been able to influence supply and demand of the best quality 
cloths through maintaining large reserves at the royal court and 
through controlling who could make and use the highest quality 
The Transition to Imported Cloth, c. 1650-1900 
Decline in the use of raphia cloth started in the 
seventeenth century with the importation of cloth from Europe 
and the Indies. The same Portuguese ships which sailed from 
Angola to buy raphia cloth brought foreign cloth to the Loango 
Coast. The trickle became a flood with the arrival of Dutch 
traders, who had no interest in raphia cloth and who exchanged 
European and Indian cloth for ivory, copper, and slaves.24 
These foreign prestige goods were quickly adopted by the Loango 
Coast notables. In Loango, by the mid-seventeenth century, the 
king and his administrators were dressing in European cloth 
while continuing to wear the distinctive animal furs and jewelry 
which were the more traditional marks of their status.25 In the 
smaller kingdoms of Kakongo and Ngoyo, however, rulers were 
prohibited from wearing imported cloth and continued to wear 
raphia cloths into the nineteenth century. For Kakongo an 
eighteenth-century source commented: 
the Kakongo people do not know the origins of this 
custom. It is presumed that the first legislators of 
the nation imposed this regulation on their sovereigns 
to retard the progress of luxury items and to encourage 
the people by the example of their master to seek the 
remedy for their needs, not in foreign articles but in 
their own industry. But it has no effect since the law 
only applies to the King, and people and Ministers alike 
trade indiscriminately in all European merchandize 
having developed tastes for the European goods....26 
A few years later a French trader confirmed that most people now 
dressed in European cloth: "their pagne was previously of 
macoute, the word that means a cloth made from straw; but since 
European trade has introduced luxury goods, the waist cloth is 
made of linen, cotton, silk, or even velvet...."27 By 1826, it 
was reported from Cabinda, the Ngoyo port, that only slaves and 
those who lived in the interior wore raphia cloth and that such 
people were despised by coastal communities.28 
Although the use of raphia cloth declined, the conspicuous 
consumption of cloth and its association with power persisted. 
By the late eighteenth century, the central government in each 
of the three kingdoms had been considerably weakened through the 
challenge of a class of merchant-brokers who had access to 
imported goods, independently of royal administrations in 
capital cities. Indeed, the prohibition that prevented Kakongo 
and Ngoyo rulers from wearing imported fabrics was symbolic of 
their growing weakness and isolation in inland courts. And even 
in the case of Loango, interregnums became common as the center 
of power passed from the office of ruler into the hands of his 
administrators, who were also great brokers in the slave 
The association of cloth and power is clearly shown in the 
evolution of burial customs. Raphia cloth had been intrinsic to 
such customs, but its use was not lavish in funerals of the 
seventeenth century. By the late eighteenth century the burial 
of the dead with large amounts of cloth was mandatory for those 
who could afford it. 
The account of the French trader, Degrandpr6, who observed 
funerals on the Loango Coast in 1786 and 1787, is particularly 
striking. At the death of a great man, the family removed the 
body to a special house where it lay in state. The preparation 
for the burial continued through the period of mourning, which 
could take months or years. Every day family members, friends, 
and dependents arrived, bringing with them tributes of raphia 
cloth in which the body was then wrapped. Once the heir had 
decided that sufficient cloth had been used, the outer wrapping 
or "packing" with imported cloth could begin. The more wealthy 
the dead man, the more the wrapping added. The mass might 
become so great that the walls of the hut would have to be 
knocked down to allow the transfer of the wrapped body to a 
larger shelter. 
Degrandpr6 graphically described the mourning of a deceased 
great man of Cabinda who held the position of mafuka, the 
official at Cabinda Bay responsible for oversight of foreign 
trade. The wrapping of the body had taken a year and the final 
mass, ready for burial, was twenty feet long, fourteen feet high 
and eight feet thick. European carpenters from ships anchored 
in the harbor were called in to help construct a trestle on 
wheels on which the body could be transported. Some captains 
loaned cables which were attached to the "vehicle" for its 
journey to the gravesite some three miles distant. Five hundred 
young men helped to pull the body to its destination, a task 
that took four days.30 Such funerals not only assured a secure 
and dignified arrival in the next world. They were an 
extravagant reminder that access to foreign goods was now the 
essence of power. 
Similar burial practices were reported in the nineteenth 
century. At Landana near Cabinda, for example, Catholic 
missionaries reported in 1896: "They wrap the corpse in an 
enormous quantity of cloth. They judge the wealth of the heirs 
by the quantity of the cloth and by the thickness of the roll. 
The corpses of important people can end by being eight to nine 
meters in circumference."31 Nor was the practice limited to the 
Loango Coast region. Similar practices were reported for other 
Bakongo people and for the Teke. In the 1890s one report 
suggested that two-thirds of all cloth imported into the lower 
Congo and region of the cataracts was used for burials.32 
Another concluded: 
Contradictory as it may seem, the strong incentive among 
people to industry, to travel and to trade, is not so 
much to procure the money with which to buy food (their 
wives can supply that), but to hoard enough cloth ... 
for a grand funeral that will be the talk of the 
district; for they believe that the grander their 
funeral, the better will be their reception in the 
spirit land....33 
Pressures to give family members as decent a burial as 
possible were felt by ordinary people who had not the means to 
hoard cloths for such occasions. A report from Malemba, the 
port of Kakongo, told how poor villagers who could not find the 
materials to give their relations a good burial were forced to 
go to the local mafuka, who gave them the cloth to bury their 
dead. Such actions put the individual and his family under an 
obligation to the administrator and show how the powerful could 
use their access to cloth to reinforce their authority.34 
Cloth as Currency, c. 1650-1900 
By the mid-seventeenth century, the substitution of 
imported cloth for domestic cloth had upset the functioning of 
the "self-regulating" currency. Its value dropped sharply.35 
By 1649, the Angolan administration was so concerned that it 
proposed the introduction of a new copper currency to supplement 
the Loango Coast mbongo, whose value and supply they could not 
adequately control. It was not until 1694, however, that copper 
replaced raphia cloth in the Luanda currency and even after 
that, the cloth "money" remained in circulation into the 
eighteenth century.36 
The expansion of the slave trade at the Loango Coast ports 
after about 1670 further accelerated the decline of the raphia 
currency, as Dutch, English, and French ships unloaded a wide 
variety of cotton, linen, and woollen cloths onto African 
markets. Mongo continued in use in local markets to buy 
foodstuffs such as manioc, palm nuts, dried fish, and salt. In 
the Kakongo capital about 1770, a libongo could buy a day's 
supply of manioc for one person, and goods were divided into 
equal portions each worth a makuta.37 At the same time, a slave 
trader reported that he had seldom seen sufficient "cloth money" 
to buy a slave. It was only on exceptional occasions, for 
example, when an inland trader arrived at a coastal market when 
there were no ships in port and foreign trade goods were in 
short supply, that he might accept part payment in salt and 
raphia cloth.38 
Just as imported cloth came to take over from domestically 
produced cloth in social and political contexts, so it was 
integrated into the currency system as well. At Luanda in the 
1660s, for example, ten makuta equalled about six yards of 
coarse cotton cloth from the East Indies in the 1660s.39 By the 
eighteenth century new systems of reckoning had come into 
existence that were based on cloth but adapted to the exigencies 
of the slave trade. At Loango Bay traders used an abstract 
numerical unit of account based on a makuta, one mukuta being 
equal to 10. The unit may have developed from the older 
association of the mukuta with ten mongo. Thus a slave-trader 
at Loango in 1701 wrote, "we bought men slaves from 3,600-4,000, 
and women, boys and girls in proportion." The goods to be 
exchanged were also valued in the numerical unit of account- 
for example, a piece of "blue baft" or cotton cloth from India 
counted as 1,000, a piece of painted calico was 600, a small keg 
of powder was 300, and a gun was 300.40 
At Kakongo and Ngoyo a slightly different system, had 
developed, which was also adopted at Loango by the mid- 
eighteenth century. This was derived from the value of six 
yards of cloth, probably the "blue baft" or "guinea blue," 
cotton cloths that were consistently popular.41 As the 
selection of trade goods became more varied and the volume of 
traffic increased in the course of the eighteenth century, the 
pihce became the standard unit of account. The unit carried the 
cloth term but the currency itself did not physically exist; 
rather the cloth currency had become a "ghost-money."42 A 
French trader summed up the situation succinctly, "it is the 
custom to reduce everything to pisces and to relate everything 
to this ideal measure."43 At Cabinda in 1700, for example, six 
yards of "blue baft" equalled one piece; six yards of tapseils, 
another cotton cloth, equalled one piece; a musket equalled one 
piece; eight brass basins weighing one pound each equalled a 
pi6ce; and two Dutch cutlasses equalled one pi6ce.44 The 
assortment of goods, or "bundle," exchanged for a slave was 
valued in pi&ces, as was the slave. The paramount importance of 
cloth as the most significant part of any transaction is shown 
in the fact that the bundle was divided into two parts, termed 
"large goods" and "small goods." "Large goods" referred to the 
various types of cloth in the bundle and "small goods" referred 
to the remaining items such as arms, powder, spirits, and 
A method of reckoning tied to cloth and cloth terminology 
continued in use on the Loango Coast and throughout the lower 
Zaire region in the period of commodity trade during the 
nineteenth century. Transactions over palm products, and the 
payment of factory servants and porters, for example, were 
reckoned in the "long" or cortado. The terminology for the unit 
of account had changed with the decline of French trade and the 
predominance of English cloth and Portuguese influence on the 
Loango Coast, but the basic unit remained six yards of a medium- 
quality cotton cloth. Thus, at the Dutch factory on the Kwilu 
River on the northern Loango Coast in 1879, a gun was valued at 
5 "long," 4 knives at one "long," and a gallon of rum at one 
"long."46 As European coinage became more common in the second 
half of the century, the "long" and the cortado also had 
equivalencies in French francs, Portuguese reis, German marks 
and English shillings.47 The end of the cloth as a means of 
reckoning came with the monetary economy and the spread of wage 
labor in the colonial period. 
The history of cloth among the societies of the Loango 
Coast is, like so many other African stories, one of continuity 
and change. The use of raphia cloth declined, but the 
significance of cloth did not, as the transition was made to 
European imports. Access to cloth remained an essential 
attribute of power throughout the precolonial history of the 
Loango Coast, perhaps more so than access to the firearms that 
were once thought to be the key to understanding the changing 
basis of power within and between African societies. Now in the 
later twentieth century, raphia cloth is seldom used on the 
Loango coast, except in a religious or ceremonial context in 
remote villages. Funerals are still times of enormous expense 
as even the poorest families struggle to give the deceased an 
honorable burial, but most people are now buried in a wooden 
coffin and the consumption of cloth on such occasions has 
declined. Yet cloth still changes hands on important occasions, 
for example, at the conclusion of a marriage contract. Births, 
marriages, the end of the mourning period, the formation of a 
new association in the city, and a religious or state festival 
are all occasions for lavishing resources on new cloths, even by 
those who can little afford it. The close association between 
cloth and power has gone, but cloth remains an outward 
expression of friendship, respect, status and prosperity. 
1. A term used to describe the coastal regions between 
southern Gabon and the Zaire river. 
2. Willy Ball, ed., Description du Royaume de Congo et des 
Contr6es Environnantes par Filippo Pigafetta et Duarte 
Lopes (1591) (Louvain, 1963), 64. 
3. Olfert Dapper, Naukeurige Beschrijvinge der Afrikaensche 
Gewesten, 2nd ed. (Amsterdam, 1676), 149, 199; J. Merolla, 
"A Voyage to Congo and Several other Countries in Southern 
Africa," trans. from the Italian in A Collection of Voyages 
and Travels, compiled by A. Churchill (London, 1732), I, 
634-635; E. Pechuel-Loesche, Die Loango Expedition 
(Leipzig, 1882), III, 167-168; J. Weeks, Among the 
Primitive Bakongo (London, 1914), 91. 
4. E. G. Ravenstein, The Strange Adventures of Andrew Battell 
in Angola and the Adjoining Regions (London, 1901), 69. 
5. S.P.H. Naber, ed., Samuel Brun's Schiffarten (1624) (The 
Hague, 1924), 9; K. Ratelband, ed., Reizen naar West-Afrika 
van Pieter van den Broecke, 1605-1614 (The Hague, 1950), 
6. Weeks, Among the Primitive Bakongo, 97; K. Laman, The Kongo 
(Uppsala, 1957), II, 100. 
7. L. B. Proyart, Histoire de Loango, Kakongo et autres 
Royaumes d'Afrique (Paris, 1776), 108, 149. 
8. Dapper, Beschrijvinge, 149; Brun, Schiffarten, 10, 13; 
J. Cuvelier, Documents sur une Mission Frangaise au 
Kakongo, 1766-1776 (Brussels, 1953), 52. For further 
information on raphia cloth production, see Andr6 Pandi, 
"La Place et le Role du Palmier dans le Civilisation de 
l'ancien Royaume Kongo du XVe au XIXe Si6cle," M6moire de 
DES, 1984, Marien Ngouabi University, 27; HelUne Loir, "Le 
Tissage du Raphia au Congo Belge," Annales du Mus6e du 
Congo Belge, III, 1 (1935), 1-68; Laman, The Kongo, I, 71, 
9. Brun, Schiffarten, 22; Dapper, Beschrijvinge, 155, 158; 
Weeks, Among the Primitive Bakongo, 92-93; Laman, The 
Kongo, I, 144-145; Maurice Briault report, cited in 
J. Fourneau and L. Kravetz, "Le Pagne sur la C6te de Guin6e 
et au Congo du XVe Si6cle A nos Jours," Bulletin d'Institut 
d'Etudes Centrafricaines, 7-8 (1954), 9; Pandi, "La Place 
et le Role du Palmier," 29. 
10. Battell, Strange Adventures, 50; see also Gordon D. Gibson 
and Cecilia R. McGurk, "High-Status Capes of the Kongo and 
Mbundu Peoples," Textile Museum Journal, 4,4 (1977), 71-96. 
For a survey of Bakongo cloth, see Angelika von Stritzl, 
"Raffiaplusche aus dem Konigreich Kongo," Wiener 
ethnohistorische blatter, 3 (1971), 37-55. 
11. J. Picton and J. Mack, African Textiles: Looms, Weaving 
and Design (London, 1979), 175. 
12. Brun, Schiffarten, 13; Battell, Strange Adventures, 47; 
Dapper, Beschrijvinge, 149. 
13. Dapper, Beschrijvinge, 159, 184, 194, 200-201; Carlos 
Serrano, Os Senhores da Terra e os Homens do Mar (Sio 
Paulo, 1983), 76. Also, A. Brisio, ed., Monumenta 
Missionmria Africana - Africa Ocidental (Lisbon, 1956), VI, 
52, account of Pedro Sardinha, 1611; Louis Jadin, ed., 
Rivalit6s luso-n6erlandaises au Sohio, Congo, 1600-1675 
(Brussels, 1966), 94; and T. Obenga, "Habillement, 
Cosmetique et Parure au Royaume de Kongo, XVe - XVIIIe 
Si6cles," Cahiers Congolais d'Anthropologie et d 'Histoire, 
4 (1979), 21-38. 
14. Cuvelier, Documents, 49; Frank Hagenbucher-Sacripanti, Les 
Fondements Spirituels du Pouvoir au Royaume de Loango 
(Paris, 1973), 39, 72; John M. Janzen, Lemba, 1650-1930 
(New York, 1982), 33, 35; Serrano, Os Senhores, 111. 
15. On lineage and other social relations that were influenced 
by the circulation of prestige goods, see, for example, 
Serrano, Os Senhores, 109ff; K. Ekholm, Power and Prestige: 
The Rise and Fall of the Kongo Kingdom (Uppsala, 1972), 99- 
133; P.-P. Rey, Colonialisme, N6o-Colonialisme et 
Transition au Capitalisme (Paris, 1971), 253ff. 
16. Adolf Bastian, Die Deutsche Expedition an der Loango Kuste 
(Jena, 1874), I, 156-159, 199, 262; I. Martins, "Monarquia 
do Ngoio," Portugal em Africa, n.s., 13 (1956), 199. 
17. Pieter van de Broecke, 64. 
18. For a discussion of this point in relation to the Kuba and 
raphia cloth production, see Jan Vansina, The Children of 
Woot (Madison, 1978), 185. 
19. Dapper, Beschrijvinge, 156-157, 168; Merolla, "Voyage to 
Congo," I, 675. 
20. Pieter van den Broecke, 66; Dapper, Beschrijvinge, 157; 
L. B. Proyart, Histoire de Loango; C. van Overberghe, Les 
Mayombe, Brussels, 1907, 385. 
21. Pieter van den Broecke, 45, 72; Bal, Description de Royaume 
de Congo, 37. 
22. Dapper, Beschrijvinge, 158, 233; Paivo Manso, Hist6ria do 
Congo (Documentos) (Lisbon, 1877), 270; R. E. Dennett, At 
the Back of the Black Man's Mind or Notes on the Kingly 
Office in West Africa (London, 1906), 48-49, 158; Laman, 
The Kongo, I, 152. 
23. Marion Johnson, "Cloth as Money: the Cloth Strip 
Currencies of Africa," in Dale Idiens and K. G. Ponting, 
eds., Textiles of Africa (Bath, 1980), 193-197; D. W. Ames, 
"The Use of Transitional Cloth Money among the Wolof," 
American Anthropologist, 57, 5 (1955), 1016-1017. 
24. Battell, Strange Adventures, 7, 9. For an account of Dutch 
trade on the Loango Coast in the seventeenth century, see 
Phyllis Martin, The External Trade of the Loango Coast, 
1576-1870 (Oxford, 1972), 33-72. For a consideration of 
some of the factors which influence decisions to change to 
foreign cloth or to continue using domestically produced 
cloth, see Marion Johnson, "Cloth Strip Currencies," paper 
presented at the ASA annual meetings, Houston, 1976. 
25. Dapper, Beschrijvinge, 161; L. Degrandpr6, Voyage 4 la C6te 
Occidentale d'Afrique fait dans les annres 1786 et 1787 
(Paris, 1801), I, 71. 
26. Proyart, Histoire de Loango, 145-146. Also, Dapper, 
Beschrijvinge, 183; Merolla, "Voyage to Congo," I, 654; 
Bastian, Die Deutsche Expedition, I, 216. 
27. Degrandpr6, Voyage, I, 71. 
28. W.F.W. Owen, Narrative of a Voyage to Explore the Shores of 
Africa, Arabia and Madagascar (New York, 1833), 173. 
29. For Loango, see Martin, External Trade, 158-174; for Ngoyo, 
see Serrano, Os Senhores, passim, and Phyllis M. Martin, 
"Family Strategies in Nineteenth-Century Cabinda," Journal 
of African History, 28, 1 (1987). 
30. Degrandpr6, Voyage, I, 116-119, 141-154; Proyart, Histoire 
de Loango, 198-201; Cuvelier, Documents, 49. 
31. "Miss&o de Landana," Portugal em Africa, 3, 27 (1896) 16. 
32. Alfred Mahieu, Numismatique du Congo, 1485-1924, (Brussels, 
n.d.), 15; also Jan Vansina, The Tio Kingdom of the Middle 
Congo, 1880-1892 (London, 1973), 207-220. 
33. Weeks, Among the Primitive Bakongo, 266. 
34. D. Jos6 Franque, N6s, os Cabindas (Lisbon, 1940), 187; 
A. Buttner, Reizen im Kongoland (Berlin, 1888), 91. 
35. Dapper, Beschrijvinge, 158. 
36. Brisio, Monumenta Missiongria, IX, 376, n. 10; Lopes de 
Lima, Ensaios sobre a Estatistica das Possessoes 
Portuguezas: III, Angola e Benguela (Lisbon, 1846), 
part 1, 54, 81-82. 
37. Cuvelier, Documents, 47; Proyart, Histoire de Loango, 98, 
108, 160. 
38. British Parliamentary Accounts and Papers, XXIX, Evidence 
of James Fraser to the Select Committee ... on the Slave 
Trade, 1790. 
39. M. Angelo de Gattino and Dennis de Carli de Piacenza, "A 
Voyage to Congo in the Years 1666 and 1667," in A 
Collection of Voyages and Travels, compiled by A. Churchill 
(London, 1732), I, 561; Merolla, "Voyage to Congo," 740. 
40. N. Uring, The Voyages and Travels of Captain Nathaniel 
Uring (London, 1928), 40. 
41. James Barbot and John Casseneuve, "An Abstract of a Voyage 
to the Congo River or the Zaire, and to Cabinda in the Year 
1700," in A Collection of Voyages and Travels, compiled by 
A. Churchill (London, 1732), V, 513. See also Martin, 
External Trade, 107, 108 fn. 4. 
42. Johnson, "Cloth as Money," 193. 
43. Degrandpr6, Voyage, I, 58. 
44. Barbot and Casseneuve, "Voyage to the River Congo," 513. 
45. See Martin, External Trade, 106-114. 
46. 0. Z. van Sandick, Herinneringen van de Zuid-West Kust van 
Afrika (Deventer, 1881), 40. For further discussion of the 
use of the "long" and the cortado, see Norm Schrag, "Mboma 
and the Lower Zaire: A Socio-Economic Study of a Kongo 
Trading Community, c. 1783-1885" (Ph.D. thesis, Indiana 
University, 1985). 
47. P. Gissfeldt, Die Loango Expedition (Leipzig, 1879), 62-63; 
Van Sandick, Herinneringen, 50; J. Dybowsky, La Route du 
Tchad:du Loango au Chari (Paris, 1883), 16; F. A. Pinto, 
Angola e Congo (Lisbon, 1888), 411. 

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