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  • Ijo - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    commemorate their ancestors History The geographic conditions of the Niger Delta region have resulted in the Ijo being located astride trade routes throughout the region Routes connecting them to other west African groups were established at least as early as the 15th century In the 1600s the Ijo served as intermediary slave traders between Europeans and African groups to the north of them Due to their central location the Ijo have appropriated many outside ideas into their own expressive culture This is most significantly expressed in Ijo fashion choices In recent years many Ijo have moved to Port Harcourt in search of employment but many of the wealthy still maintain residences in their homelands Economy The Ijo rely largely upon their relationship with the rivers and ocean for their survival They depend on trading goods and fishing to supplement farming and hunting Yams and processed palm oil are produced in large quantities for outside trade Women normally participate in large market systems where people trade and sell wares for pleasure as well as survival Wealth is often redistributed through the institution of dowries Usually bride prices paid to people outside the immediate community are larger to compensate the bride s community for the loss of her children who will remain in the village of the husband Those who live in Port Harcourt the capital of the region often work as professionals traders and civil service workers Political Systems Peoples from eastern Ijo territory traditionally lived in compact villages and towns that were politically integrated through a system of chiefs who were family or clan heads High status is normally awarded in accordance with elaborate hierarchical systems and often results only after payments have been made to those already holding titles Peoples from western and central Ijo territory acknowledged no central

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/peoples/show/Ijo (2016-02-13)
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  • Kabre - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    escape these militaristic states people fled southward into the mountain region which was more difficult to attack Despite these efforts Kabre peoples were still caught up in regional slave trade Located as they are so close to the Asante and Dahomey kingdoms both of which sold slaves directly to European merchants the Kabre supplied slaves to these and other powerful centralized states Perhaps in an effort to maintain societal stability Kabre sold their own kin into slavery rather than suffer the consequences of slave raids Economy Kabre economy centers around what is known as presentational gift giving This means that most surplus is given away to other community members in an effort to foster social ties which in time may lead to intermarriage and familial ties Crops in the region include yams millet and peanuts Sorghum is grown largely for use in local beer production Although markets do exist in Kabre land economic exchange is rooted in practices of bartering where something is exchanged for something of equal value rather than exchanged for cash which can be used to buy things produced outside of the local economy Political Systems Stability in Kabre society is maintained through complex levels of gift giving and exchange Historically Kabre land was uncentralized and on occasion tribute was demanded by their centralized neighbors Families do own land but often this land is lent out to others in order to establish gift giving ties and products which grow naturally on fallow land are not considered the property of the owner Political ties are cemented through marriage between two families which usually occurs only after years of gift exchange and ikpanture the formation of lifelong ties between individuals What begins as lower level exchanges involving yams and sorghum may eventually lead to the exchange of meat and

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/peoples/show/Kabre (2016-02-13)
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  • Karagwe - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    the king with iron production History The Karagwe kingdom reached its apex during the 19th century Archaeological evidence suggests that growth occurred during the early part of the 1800s King Ndagara came to power around 1820 and ruled until 1853 at which time he was replaced by Rumanyika The area has strong linguistic and historical ties to the Bugandan states to the north and to central African symbolic forms Economy During the height of the Karagwe kingdom agriculture played an important role in local economics Many Karagwe were cattle herders and so cows were a measure of wealth and power Iron production also played a key part in the economic balances within the kingdom The location of Karagwe land in what is today northwestern Tanzania allowed them to participate in regional trade routes that connected the Ugandan states to the coast and the rest of eastern Africa Political Systems Maintaining a power balance between agriculturalists herders and iron smelters was necessary if the king hoped to maintain stability within the kingdom Although Karagwe are exonomous marrying people outside their immediate clan they are patrilineal and maintained divisions of labor based on clan membership Individual villages usually centered around an extended family and were controlled by royally appointed governors some of whom were women Women were associated with fertility and seen as a threat to the success of iron smelting Their appointment as governors by the king may indicate an attempt by him to assert power over iron producing centers Religion Karagwe religious ideas are closely tied to the king Karagwe cosmology recognizes a diadic view of the world most significantly represented by a division of male and female gender roles Women are associated with fertility and fecundity The cow not the bull was celebrated for its ability to produce offspring

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/peoples/show/Karagwe (2016-02-13)
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  • Kassena - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    Ghana collectively known as Gurunsi This term is applied to these peoples who share common histories languages and political structures but it also carries pejorative overtones in local usage Most of Gurunsi live in modern day Burkina Faso and the degree to which recent Kassena history differs from their northerly neighbors such as the Nuna Bwa and Winiama is because they live in modern day Ghana These differences arose during the colonial period in the early part of the 20th century as French and British colonial systems differed in their administrative practices Economy Kassena are primarily sedentary farmers growing millet sorghum and yams Maize rice peanuts and beans are grown in addition to these staples Farmers throughout the region practice slash and burn farming using keri fields for approximately seven or eight years before they are allowed to lie fallow for at least a decade In the family fields close to the villages women grow cash crops including sesame and tobacco which are sold in local markets Men participate in hunting during the long dry season This is important for ritual reasons since it is during this time that men may interact with the spirits that inhabit the bush During the dry season when food supplies are running low some fishing is practiced in local swamps Political Systems Kassena societies are comprised mainly of farmers without social or political stratification They are not divided among occupational castes or groups since most of them simply till the land and engage in occasional hunting They had no internal system of chiefs and all important decisions were made by a council of elders consisting of the oldest members of each of the village lineages Religious leaders maintain some political authority determining the agricultural cycle and parceling out land for cultivation Religion Belief in

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/peoples/show/Kassena (2016-02-13)
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  • Katana - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    mountains that today make up the border between Nigeria and Cameroon in order to escape the Fulani jihad The immigrants joined the peoples who already live in the mountains and beyond adopting many of their customs While this transition was relatively peaceful there are still differences between those who lived in the area prior to the immigrants arrival and the immigrants themselves Eurpean colonialism removed the Fulani threat in the beginning of the 20th century but many Katana elected to remain in their new mountain homes Economy Most Katana are farmers and their primary crop grown for local consumption in guinea corn Cornmeal is the basis of most meals and is also the essential ingedient used for brewing beer The drinking of beer plays an important role in daily social exchanges and offerings of beer are preferred by the ancestors At one time it is believed that beer was not sold that it could only be transferred among people as gifts Men gave guinea corn to their wives in exchange for beer In recent years however beer production has been commercialized and women have become the primary marketers Groundnuts are also grown as a staple crop by men and are sold on the national market Other crops include taro sesame peppers okra yams maize groundnuts and pumpkin Political Systems Political divisions are based on membership in a patriclan although kinship ties between matriclan members also play a part in determining political affiliation Most villages consist of those who lived in the area prior to the Fulani expansion and of those who migrated in the face of it Those who lived in the area first were often accorded political privileges and although intermarrying did occur affiliation with the former was preferable People trace their ancestry to the original occupant of village

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/peoples/show/Katana (2016-02-13)
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  • Kom - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    They originally came from an area to the north and migrated in various complex patterns throughout the last several centuries Fulani traders moving steadily southwards into Cameroon in the 17th century forced the Kom s southern drift Many smaller ethnic groups combined while other factions split away as a result of pressure from the invading Fulani During the late 18th century many Fulani converted to Islam and their expansionist mentality grew as a result of religious zeal They successfully converted many Kom to Islam Economy People in the region played an important part in regional trade routes connecting with the seaport of Douala in the south and with Fulani and Hausa traders in the north The Kom are farmers who grow maize yams and peanuts as staple crops They also raise some livestock including chickens and goats which play an important role in daily sustenance Women who are believed to make the soil more fruitful are responsible for the tasks of planting and harvesting the crops Men are responsible for clearing the fields for planting and practice some nominal hunting Political Systems The Kom like all of the peoples who make up the Cameroon Grasslands culture area pay allegiance to the Fon Each village is governed by a leader who is selected by his predecessor and who is usually the head of the dominant lineage within that community Each Fon is served by a council of elders who advise him on all important decisions and who also play an important role in the selection of the next Fon Most chiefs serve for a lifetime abdicating the throne or stool only when nearing death Complex age grade societies also help to structure the community The Fon also oversees these secret societies Religion The Kom reserve the highest allegiance for their lineage

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/peoples/show/Kom (2016-02-13)
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  • Kongo - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    forms available to everyone History The Kongo peoples migrated into their current location during the 13th century from the northeast under the leadership of Wene In 1482 the Portuguese arrived on the coast and the Kongo began diplomatic relations which included sending Kongo nobles to visit the royal assemblage in Portugal in 1485 Kongo leaders were targeted for conversion by Christian missionaries and often divisions between followers of Christianity and followers of the traditional religions resulted In 1526 the Portuguese were expelled but the Kongo peoples were then invaded by the Jagas in 1568 and the Kongo were forced to look to the Portuguese for help The Kongo kingdom never regained its former power In the ensuing years the Kongo alternatively fought for and against the Portuguese eventually being colonized in 1885 The Kongo political party Abako played an important part in national independence in 1960 Economy The Kongo people survive from day to day on agricultural production fishing and hunting In its heyday the Kingdom exacted taxes forced labor and collected fines from its citizens in order to prosper At times enslaved peoples ivory and copper were traded to the Europeans on the coast The important harbors were Sonyo and Pinda Political Systems When the Kongo Kingdom was at its political apex in the 15th and 16th centuries the King who had to be a male descendant of Wene reigned supreme He was elected by a group of governors usually the heads of important families and occasionally including Portuguese officials The activities of the court were supported by an extensive system of civil servants and the court itself usually consisted of numerous male relatives of the King The villages were often governed by lesser relatives of the King who were responsible to him All members of government were invested

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/peoples/show/Kongo (2016-02-13)
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  • Kota - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    was first made about 150 years later Unlike the Fang their neighbors to the east the Kota were a peaceful people who preferred to pick up and move rather than engage in warfare European references dating to the 1870s identify the Kota in their modern homeland Christian missionaries who entered the area in the early 1900s converted many of the Kota peoples As a result many of the art objects associated with their traditional religion were destroyed buried or in some cases thrown down wells Since the 1930s efforts have been made by Europeans to locate these discarded objects which have been divested of power and remove them to Western museums Often the Kota dig them up themselves and sell them for profit Economy The rain forests which surround the Kota are farmed with slash and burn techniques combined with crop rotation By moving crops from year to year erosion and soil depletion is avoided The main crops grown are plantains and manioc Large knives are used to clear the forests and most of the cultivation is done with a hoe Political Systems The peoples throughout this region of Gabon share similar political systems Each village has a leader who has inherited his position based on his relationship to the founding family of that village As a political leader he often serves as an arbitrator and is equally recognized as a ritual specialist This enables him to justify his position of power based on his relationship with the ancestors of the village Each village consists of bark houses in arranged in a balanced pattern along straight streets and the size of the village is often determined by the resources available Religion The traditional religion of Kota centered around ancestors who are believed to wield power in the afterlife as they

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/peoples/show/Kota (2016-02-13)
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