Op. Cit.


Show Summary

have the privilege of going to busa at the great place; that is, they go and reside on the chief’s kraal for a longer or shorter period, according to their own inclinations; and while they remain there, they form the court or ministry for the time being; during which time they enjoy many privileges. They settle all lawsuits laid before the chief, and assist him with their counsel in all state affars; and they share in all the fines which may accrue to the chief during their ministry. They are also employed as imisila, or sheriffs, to enforce the sentence of the chief, and they receive the fees appertaining to that office.2

But the influence of the kinship group persists, and the local chiefs when incorporated in the central government tend in general to maintain a stubborn adherence to traditional organization, to the extent that the king in some cases reigns but does not rule. There is nowhere in Africa a more elaborated governmental organization than among the Bushongo, a Western Bantu group. There are about 137 gradations and specializations of court functionaries under the nyimi (head chief and supreme judge) consisting of 18 legal officials, including a judge of crimes committed with a sharp weapon, a judge of stolen goods, a judge deciding whether death is from suicide, and if so assessing fines against the parents, a judge of witchcraft, an agent who administers the poison ordeal, etc.; 5 military officials, including one to reassemble deserters and dispatch them to rejoin the army on the field of battle; 6 administrative officials, one of them to receive funeral taxes, another to give village chiefs girdles significant of authority; 16 representatives of tribes; 17 representatives of trades—hunters, fishermen, boatbuilders, blacksmiths, weavers, salt manufacturers, singers, dancers, etc.; a representative of the fathers of twins; 42 court officials with determined functions or sinecures with privileges, including presumptive heirs, bearers of insignia, a narrator of legends, a collector and appropriator of gifts brought to the nyimi but dropped in the excitement of the donors, a collector (with an assistant) of gifts made to the nyimi by those recovering from sickness through his divine influence, an attendant for running before the nyimi to remove obstacles from his path; slaves on whom the nyimi sits; 14 women functionaries, including kindred of the nyimi, a head of the royal harem, one responsible for the cleanliness of the harem, one to put pepper in the eyes of disobedient women, and an assistant to attend the women while thus temporarily blinded, a teacher of songs to women, etc.1

2Macleann/an/an/an/an/an/a, , 76–77.

1 Torday, E., and T. A. Joyce, "Notes éthnographiques sur les peuples communément appelés Bakuba . . . : Les Bushongo" Ann. du Musée du Congo elge (3d series), 1: 53–60.


Related Resources

None available for this document.

Download Options

Title: Op. Cit.

Select an option:

*Note: A download may not start for up to 60 seconds.

Email Options

Title: Op. Cit.

Select an option:

Email addres:

*Note: It may take up to 60 seconds for for the email to be generated.

Chicago: "Op. Cit.," Op. Cit. in Primitive Behavior: An Introduction to the Social Sciences, ed. Thomas, William I. (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1937), Original Sources, accessed December 8, 2023, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=ZFJQ3LFX44RP18Y.

MLA: . "Op. Cit." Op. Cit., in Primitive Behavior: An Introduction to the Social Sciences, edited by Thomas, William I., New York, McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1937, Original Sources. 8 Dec. 2023. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=ZFJQ3LFX44RP18Y.

Harvard: , 'Op. Cit.' in Op. Cit.. cited in 1937, Primitive Behavior: An Introduction to the Social Sciences, ed. , McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., New York. Original Sources, retrieved 8 December 2023, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=ZFJQ3LFX44RP18Y.