Kongo and the Archaeology of Early African America

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The "Kongo Across the Waters" exhibitions and publications are very timely from the perspective of archaeologists. Researchers employing archaeology to obtain greater insights into the cultural lives of African descendant populations in the Americas are enjoying a period of great vitality and interdisciplinary collaboration. As a result, numerous archaeological studies have uncovered the impacts of Kongo culture on communities across the Americas over the past few centuries. Archaeologists find these legacies of the Kongo in the tangible remains of private spaces made sacred, in the material compositions that attended ritual and prayers, and on pottery transformed from the mundane to the profound. People who subscribed to cultural beliefs systems such as the Kongo experienced wrenching social upheavels and transformations in those time periods, as did their descendants in the Americas. Cultures evolved dynamically as well, in interactive encounters that analysts often refer to as processes of creolization. This chapter focuses on observable cultural connections that existed even within the currents of such dramatic changes.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationKongo across the waters
EditorsSusan Cooksey, Robin Poynor, Hein Vanhee
Place of PublicationGainesville
PublisherUniversity Press of Florida
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9780813049458
StatePublished - 2013


  • African diaspora
  • Art, Kongo
  • African American art
  • United States
  • Kongo Kingdom


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