Culture - Arts of the Congo

Traditional music and dances of Congo Brazzaville

Congolese music is the one that has spread more widely throughout Africa, under many denominations: Congolese jazz, Congo Music, rumba or soukouss, dance music that mixes Western forms (rock, etc.) and rhythms West Indies. On the margins of the soukouss, a musician like N’Zongo Soul returns to the walla, one of the traditional rhythms of the Kongo people.
Colonialism played an essential role in the development of urban dances and music. In the 1920s small local groups animated the evenings of the colonists. They play on new instruments previously unknown to the Congolese. It is the birth of new sounds and rhythms, the blending of traditional tam tam and European trumpets. The emergence of musical groups and the dance hall where they occur marks the beginning of Congolese popular music.
Music and dance in the Congo are omnipresent, community, sacred or festive metisses. Birth, funerals are celebrated in music and dancing. Each region has its own in, for example, the Niari stilt dance. But we can distinguish two great influences; Traditional Kongo dance; Physical pirouette of the pelvis and lower body and dance m,bochis; Shoulder and upper body movements, while teke dances combine the two.
The national ball of the Congo draws on the tradition of dance paintings. New generations of dancers and choreographers are keen to highlight the traditional dances so revealing of life in the Congo. We can take as an example the ballet troupe of the place.
The ambassador of the groove made in Congo. Sensual, venerated she animates the Congolese nights. The Cuban rumba drew its origins from the dances practiced by the black slaves deported to Cuba. Her sensuality would have been inspired by the dances of fertility. Danced until the 1980s this one took new nuances with the soukouss or ndombolo.
The Bantu of the capital 55 years ago was born August 15, 1959 at the bar-dancing Chez Faignond a brazzaville, one of the most prestigious orchestras of Africa the Bantu of the Capital. Very quickly, the group will be the pride of the standard door, for several years, of the Congolese music throughout Africa and in the world. Over the years, Les Bantous de la Capital will emerge as one of the surest foundations of Congolese music in both Congo and will impose itself as a veritable school of music where great names of Congolese music , On the margins of being able to export its typical tradi-modern style and its dances Boucher, KIRI-KIRI, YEKE-YEKE and SOUKOUS.


Statues, masks and paintings

Because of its geographical diversity and the presence of many ethnic groups and formerly of various political structures (Empire Kongo, Kingdom of Loango, Teke Kingdom, chiefdoms of the North), the Congo has endowed the country with a great diversity of traditional cultures and As many ancient artistic expressions such as: Vili fetishes with nails, sober expressive statuettes, enigmatic masks of the Punu and Kwele, reliquaries Kota, fetishes Téké
• The Tekes produce ritual statuettes made of wood for the worship of genii and ancestors as well as round masks decorated with geometric figures. It must be known that if the statuette can be carved by any sculptor in the Téké society, it has no magico-religious power until an initiate has conferred it on him.
• The reliquary statuettes of the Vili are close to the statuary of the Punus of Gabon, with faces painted white rather enigmatic.
• Babembés are specialized in miniature sculpture

One can not speak of painting without mentioning the famous school of Poto-Poto, named after one of the popular districts of Brazzaville.
A kind of pyramidal basilica made of brick and corrugated iron, the Poto Poto school is located in the popular neighborhood of Poto-Poto, 105 Mayama Street (Moungali roundabout).

Literature of yesterday and today

As official organ of the cultural centers of the AEF (1950-1960), the Liaison magazine was the platform for young Congolese intellectuals and made known some of the Congolese writers, already numerous at the time. Jean Malonga (Heart of Aryenne, 1947) Guy Menga, playwright (Koka-Mbala Kettle, 1966) and novelist (Sterile Palaver, 1968) Sylvain Bemba, novelist and playwright , 1969). As for Tchicaya U Tam’si, one of the greatest poets of black Africa, he published his first collection in 1955 (Mauvais Sang).
From 1968 onwards, the rise of Congolese literature grew. Poetry, novels, short stories and essays find their masters. The poet Jean-Baptiste Tati-Loutard published the Congolese roots; Maxime N’Debeka, New Suns in 1969. The novel is well represented by Emmanuel Dongala (The Rifle in the Hand, a poem in the pocket, 1973), Henri Lopès (The Crying-Laugh, 1982) the shortlist Tchichellé Tchivela Is the night, 1980), Sony Labou Tansi (Life and half, 1979). Lastly, we must mention the novelist and essayist Jean-Pierre Makouta-Mboukou and the essayist Theophile Obenga (On the way to men, 1984), also a poet.

Today, many Congolese writers live in Europe and North America. Alain Mabanckou, one of the most brilliant and prolific writers of the Congolese diaspora, lives in the United States of America. He has published many books that have been largely Best Sellers and award-winning. The publication of his novel “Bleu-Blanc-Rouge” in 1999, earned him the Black Literary Grand Prize, while in 2006 he won the Renaudot for his novel “Porcupine Memories”, a parody of African tales .

Art of living, institution or even “religion”, the SAPE is a must in contemporary Congolese culture. Literally an acronym of the Society of Ambient and Elegant People, this informal society brings together various clubs, bars or individuals who are passionate about the art of dress elegance.

SAPE has its codes and jargon:

The sapeur (or even the sapelogue or sapeloge) practices sapology: research and then “adjust” its setting, marry colors, operate a “pass” (an exchange) between sappers if necessary and make its “descent”, c Is to say “point” of an approach or “diatance” lured and challenge his peers hoping for success crowd