Note: The terms in this list are in Kikongo unless otherwise indicated.
bakulu: ancestors
bascule: (French) the ceremony where the spirits of the members of the dmna
church are publicly weighed
bikualakuala: long lengths of bamboo laid on or across tables and played with sticks
bimpampa: body gestures
BisiKongo: the term that I am using to describe the ethnic group one finds through-
out the Lower Congo, who speak varying dialects of the same language, Kikongo.
This group is also known as BaKongo, a term frequently used by colonial admin-
istrators. The term Kongo describes the cultural area of this group, which was the
basis of the Kongo Kingdom, and covers parts of present- day Congo- Brazzaville,
Congo- Kinshasa, and Angola. MwissiKongo is a singular term used to describe an
inhabitant of the Kongo Kingdom, while BisiKongo is the plural form. BisiKongo
or Kongo people were phrases more often used by interlocutors in describing
themselves as members of a larger group, so I am respecting the political choice
that some people have made to use BisiKongo rather than BaKongo to describe
themselves, although most of the scholarly literature still uses BaKongo.
bula makonko: cupped hand clapping that is used and was used in the past as a
gesture of respect; to open and close meetings and prayers; to ask for pardon,
forgiveness, and blessings; and also as a form of greeting other people
Bundu dia Kongo: a politico- religious- nationalist movement of Kongo people that
seeks to reestablish the Kongo Kingdom, revitalize Kongo culture, and return to
certain elements of “tradition” in the face of growing political and economic mar-
ginalization in the country
dekama: genuflection
Dibundu dia Mpeve ya Nlongo mu Afelika: Church of the Holy Spirit in Africa
dikisa: to give someone something to ingest. Often used to refer to passing on the
GLOSSARY
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