Mangbetu

/mahng bay"tooh/, n., pl. Mangbetus, (esp. collectively) Mangbetu for 1.
1. a member of a people of the northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
2. the central Sudanic language of this people.

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people
also spelled  Monbuttu 

      peoples of Central Africa living to the south of the Zande in northeastern Congo (Kinshasa). They speak a Central Sudanic language (Central Sudanic languages) of the Nilo-Saharan language family. The Mangbetu are a cluster of peoples who penetrated and now occupy the formerly Pygmy territory and who, in turn, subsequently absorbed waves of eastern peoples. They thus comprise a host of diverse cultural and linguistic strains.

      The name Mangbetu refers, strictly speaking, only to the aristocracy, which in the 19th century established a number of powerful kingdoms; in looser usage it denotes the whole amalgam of peoples they ruled. The Mangbetu subsist by hoe cultivation, with some fishing, hunting, and gathering. They also raise cattle; in contrast to other Sudanic peoples, among the Mangbetu only the men do the milking. Yams and plantains are the staple crops.

      Bride-price includes a substantial gift of livestock. Polygynous marriage is everywhere accepted. Descent is patrilineal. Most settlements are composed of extended families that include several generations. Political organization today is simple, usually limited to local headmen and councils of elders.

      The Mangbetu impressed early travelers with their political institutions and their arts, especially their remarkable skill as builders, potters, and sculptors. They became renowned also for their supposed cannibalism and for their practice of deforming (body modifications and mutilations) the heads of babies by binding them tightly so that they retained through life a curiously elongated form. Contemporary Mangbetu continue to attract artistic interest with their exquisitely carved knives, wooden containers for honey, statues, musical instruments, and jars.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • MANGBETU — D’origine mal connue, les Mangbetu parlent une langue soudanaise, et le clan biti auquel appartient la famille royale est venu à la fin du XVIIIe siècle du haut Ituri au sud ouest du lac Albert. Le pays mangbetu se trouve dans la région nord… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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  • Mangbetu — may refer to: the Mangbetu people the Mangbetu language a bird, the Black Saw wing This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the same title. If an internal link led …   Wikipedia

  • Mangbetu — Angehörige der Mangbetu (19. Jahrhundert) Die Mangbetu sind eine Ethnie im Nordosten der Demokratischen Republik Kongo, in der Provinz Orientale. Ihre Bevölkerungszahl liegt bei etwa 40.000. Die Sprache der Mangbetu ist das zentralsudanische… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Mangbetu — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Mangbetu peut désigner : le mangbetu, une langue africaine les Mangbetu, un groupe ethnique présent notamment en République démocratique du Congo… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Mangbetu — ISO 639 3 Code : mdj ISO 639 2/B Code : ISO 639 2/T Code : ISO 639 1 Code : Scope : Individual Language Type : Living …   Names of Languages ISO 639-3

  • mangbetu — mang·be·tu …   English syllables

  • mangbetu — …   Useful english dictionary

  • Mangbetu people — Mangbetu woman in the 19th century. The Mangbetu are a people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, living in Orientale Province. The majority live in the villages of Rungu, Poko, Watsa, Niangara, and Wamba. Contents …   Wikipedia

  • Mangbetu languages — Mangbetu–Asoa Mangbetu Geographic distribution: Democratic Republic of Congo Linguistic classification: Nilo Saharan? Central Sudanic Eastern …   Wikipedia

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