Category Archives: Kongo

Dr. Kimbwandende Kia Bunseki Fu-Kiau

Dr. Kimbwandende Kia Bunseki Fu-Kiau  Rest in Power Dr. Fu Kiau Bunseki
“The ancestors are not dead. They are not gone. Their energy is…”

[Sunrise April 9, 1934 – Sunset November 29, 2013 ]My Tata takes his seat upon the throne in the realm of the Ancestors. Kongo Cosmology has been a grounding force in unearthing vital keys of my Ancestry, healing and honoring the rhythmic cycles of life and therefore the universe. One moment with my Teacher Dr. Fu-kiau, was like sitting in a world of libraries; each word uttered represented several novels filled with mysteries of sacred knowledge made accessible to its front door. He ushered scores of students and naysayers into dimensions of enlightenment surrounding deep wisdoms of our ancients and its transcendental effects upon our lives today. Born in Minianga, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dr. Fu-Kiau was one of the foremost scholars of African Spiritual traditions producing a cadre of books serving as primers for deeper study into these traditions. As one of last initiated of his generation into the coveted Lemba Secret Society, the foundation for many Diaspora tributaries of Bantu practices, has been pivotal in unearthing cultural heritage customs, ties and traditions still retained amongst Omo-Afrika of Cuba, Haiti, Brasil to name a few, including the United States.

At the gate, Dr. Fu-kiau ignited within me personal empowerment with an awakening purpose to seek, honor and achieve that for which already belongs to me by birthright, profoundly emphasizing its inherit ties to the Universe and beyond. As I am still processing his transition, my thoughts swiftly begins navigate strewn works for which I must begin to tie — bit by bit, honoring every breath, I accept the pact made so long ago. Matondo Tata, Matondo Nsambi *Simba Simbi*

[ in kinship the link above offers tribute to Dr. Fukiau, by Eyon Biddle, Sr @biddleisbold ]

 

Unearthing the Story: When slain Matriarchs speak…

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behind the scenes glimpse  as M. Malonga depicts the “Laura Nelson” story | Okemah, OK 1911

REEEEE-MIIIIX – Genealogists serve in a multitude of professional arenas. In the capacity as Curatorial Director, I was privy to participate in the stellar artistic works and exchange of Muisi-kongo Malonga’s “Kimpa Vita” creation. Daunting, yet always guided we prayed, researched and gathered oral narratives from Congo to California, combed scholarly works and built compelling stories focused upon 3 iconic travesties of justice involving African American Women.  The particular stories chosen, we felt resonated with the movement and demise of our central figure Kongolese Matriarch and Warrioress – Mama #KimpaVita of old Kongo Kingdom.

The solo chore-opera first debuted as an excerpt, at San Francisco Counter Pulse Performing Diaspora 2nd 4-day weekend showing, witnessed by 3 sold-out audiences.  Wearing the “Directorial” hat was like balancing a 50lb laundry basket upon my head. Yet through stealth training and mentorship, I focused on balance determined to obtain evidence unearthing associated documents. To my surprise, my discovery included rare graphic depictions concerning these African American Women dating back to as early as 1865 for one, an actual audio recording of American Folk singer Woody Guthrie,  and a state sponsored historical marker citing the lynching rampage of  the times in 1918.

Born 14 months after the Laura and L.D. Nelson lynching,  Woody Guthrie’s own father, then a local politician was actually associated with the lynching and the heinous crime of these times, ultimately chronicled into a postcard. Guthrie wrote a song called “Don’t Kill My Baby & My Son” and gives his crackling retell of story along with the accounts leading to the Nelson lynchings.  The song wails in agony…

Not content to believe that Ms Laura’s story starts with lynching and ends with death, I further discover a blog dedicated to her aptly named “The Nelson Lynching of 1911 @Okemah, Oklahoma” also bearing genealogy research for Laura’s husband, giving some idea as to how the two came to be united and ultimately divided. [see link below]

“The Nelson Lynching of 1911 @Okemah, Oklahoma”

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Kimpa Vita aka Dona Beatriz Kongolese Matriarch 1684–1706
One of the African Women to fight against European colonialism in Africa

I remember thinking the whole time, “Who are the descendants of these matriarchs and what are the surviving legacies arising from their marked death?” Equally thrilling was to discover active initiatives and commemorative efforts that raise awareness and bring to the forefront these injustices, engaging ongoing activism that combat violence against Women. The #KimpaVita project speaks veneration, and is a powerfully artistic offering to elevate these Spirits through Muisi-kongo’s dynamic mediumship for birthing the stories.  Regarding the reveal of these historical accounts concerning the African American Women, it exposed such an inherit ignorance about an abominable era of American History and at the same time de-mystified Mama Kimpa Vita, provoking more people to want to know herstory deserving to be known through her own rites – WAH!

And my #DANCESTORY2013? Its been a fast track, as I’m currently preparing my case scenarios for further research and engagement with genealogy kinship. About the next leg of travel, I’ve added #AK to the #MSY sojourn! I invite You to join the sojourn and support the project that invokes more stories deserving to be preserved, starting with my own.  Updates right here: http://bit.ly/1e56YML

~Regina Califa Calloway
nzo.califa Dance Works
“Working Da Lines: Dancestory2013″
twitter: @nzoCALIFA

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About the Artist: Muisi-Kongo Malonga