Bought from a slave trader and put on display at the Bronx zoo:
the strange, sad story of Ota Benga, a Pygmy with filed teeth brought from the Congo to America in 1906. Here
are a couple of contemporary news accounts of the controversial exhibit. After the zoo, Benga tried to make a life in America, studying to be a missionary. "But what he really wanted to do
was to tell everyone in this country that his people were dying, and why. I think he thought that eventually they'd listen. But they never did. That, to me, is the real tragedy."
In 1916, at the age of 32, he built a ceremonial fire, chipped off the caps on his teeth, performed a final tribal dance, and shot himself
with a stolen pistol. Creationists
say the story illustrates "the racism of evolutionary theory" and "the horrors that evolutionary theory has brought to society."
posted by CunningLinguist
on Aug 7, 2006 -
Mawangu Mingiedi, 72, a musician and truck driver from Kinshasa, was simply trying to allow the music of his street band, Konono No. 1
, be heard over the traffic and street noise, but when he fashioned home-made amplifiers out of junkyard parts he created something raw and distorted with a sound all its own
(quicktime). (via MonkeySARS
, where an MP3 awaits you)
posted by Robot Johnny
on Nov 22, 2005 -
Konono No. 1
"This band is one of the main exponents of a spectacular style of music which has developed in the suburbs of Kinshasa (DR Congo). The Congolese call it "tradi-modern", in other words: electrified traditional music. These are musicians who left the bush to settle in the capital and who, in order to go on keep fulfilling their social role and make themselves heard by the ancestors (and, more concretely, by their fellow citizens) despite the high level of urban noise, have had to resort to DIY amplification of their instruments, and to megaphones (conical speakers). This makeshift electrification has provoked a radical mutation of their sound, as it has introduced distortions which they have integrated to their style. [...] The band's line-up includes three electric likembés [thumb pianos] (bass, medium and treble), equipped with hand-made microphones built from magnets salvaged from old car parts, and plugged into amplifiers." Via womanonfire
posted by jokeefe
on Feb 25, 2003 -
: He fled the war in Congo for America. The I.N.S. greeted him by putting him in jail. -- this week's nyt mag
has stories of people who have been in new york city for one year. this one is especially powerful.
posted by palegirl
on Sep 18, 2000 -