Capuchin Missionary Witnessing a Tournament, Sogno, Kingdom of Kongo, 1740s


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Image Reference
sogno189

Source
Paola Collo and Silvia Benso (eds.), Sogno: Bamba, Pemba, Ovando e altre contrade dei regni di Congo, Angola e adjacenti (Milan: published privately by Franco Maria Ricci, 1986), p. 189.

Comments
The missionary is seated in front of his house and is blessing the village head (in battle regalia with arms) for the "sangare," a tournament; also shown are warriors with weapons and musical instruments. Caption notes that villagers usually got drunk with "melasso," a palm wine. This source in Italian is a modern printing of a 1747 manuscript (located in the Biblioteca Civica of Turin) which describes Capuchin expeditions to the Kingdom of Kongo. The watercolor paintings record moments in the daily lives of missionaries Bernardino Ignazio and Gaspare da Bassano, who were resident in Sogno from 1743-1747. Sogno (Sonyo in English) was a province of the kingdom. The illustrations and accompanying manuscript were done by Ignazio. (Thanks to James Sweet for assistance in interpreting the source.)