History of Kusu People of Dr. Congo .

History of Kusu People of Dr. Congo .

Kusu People can be found in Dr. Congo , they are also known as Kikusu People and they are related to the Songye People, Hemba People , Kuba People and Luba People of Dr. Congo. They grow crops such as maize , yams , beans and raised other domesticated animals Including cows , goats , sheeps and chickens .
 Their Sculpture has similarities with the Luba , Hemba and Songye that Includes figures and traditionally, women also make pottery , stools and basketry . Fishing, Farming  and hunting plays a significant roles in the Kusu communities , In their Culture, Kusu are split into a smaller villages that are relatively isolated in the South one another particularly in the South the villages are further divided into castes in which the blacksmiths are Influential . 

The Ceremonies for traditional chiefs of the Kusu are similar to the Luba traditions also the elders are considered as the leaders of the villages who have a higher positions of power .
 Among Kusu People of Dr. Congo, It is said Vilie is considered as a Creator or God, Ancestors are the guardian angels, their deities are believed to be of both Hemba and Mongo origins . It is believed Kusu live on the left bank of the Luala bala river, during their movement to the north, they passed through Luba, Hemba and Songye land where they adopted some of their traditions and cultures . They are divided into clans , each headed by a Chief known as Wembi which they assisted by the Village Chief known as Mwamkana and the Chiefs of family are known as Bankumi . 
According to their Oral history , Kusu, Nkutshu , Tetela and Mongi were believed to have migrated from the northwest and Kusu were said to be of Mongo , Luba and Kudu origins, their first migration started southwards , then they moved back north through Luba, Songye and Hemba regions, acquiring social customs and learning artistic styles along the way .
 The Kusu arrived in their Present day homeland which they split into group others migrating further north and south which remain largely separated and remain largely separated and divided before their Independence in their Present day location . 

The Kusu Ancestor figure carving wood It is said is an impressive nicely carved wooden male ancestor figure standing 15 Inches in height . 
Carved from a single piece of hardwood the figure has aged patina and apart from a small wood stress fracture on the back of the lower head It is Infantastic condition . 

The figure of Kusu tribal history is shared with ethnic groups such as Nkutshu and Telela. It is said much of the Kusu Sculpture is similar to their neighboring ethnic groups, which Include Songye, Hemba, Kuba, Tetela and Luba People also their language is part of the Bantu which is known as KiKusu . 
Their Sculpture arts Include the Kusu male ancestor statue which is made of wood and shells , Spoon Sculpture, rattle sculpture, fly whisk , tribal dance mask, bronze doll sculpture , bronze doll sculpture, Others believed the Kusu and Batetela lived in region between Lusambo and Upper Congo river, in the provinces of Sankuru and Maniema they were later in the late 1800s after the arrival of Arabs and Belgians in the region. 

The Kusu and Batetela are the largest subgroups of the Mongo ethnic group . Their traditional cow or goat skin drum is used for dancing usually accompanying the lukumbi the six toned slit drum , there were a small cylindrical two toned drum which was used in wars and other celebration events . 

Their Sculpture is known for Kakudji which is made up of wood, seeds, fabric , animal skin , animal vertebra metal and animal skin . It is said Kusu also cultivate cassava and bananas, they are considered to be Patrilineal descent and they traced to one common male ancestor , there is also ankisi figure with a ball on the head containing spiritual material , the typical Kusu power figure originated from the eastern part of Dr. Congo .
 It is believed in the mid 20th Century , the Kusu figures have the same kind of look as those of their counterparts of Luba and Hemba. Typical sculpture of Kusu, however It is the cone shaped top meant to contain a charge in order to give the figure its power . It has the serene expression of the face has the fine beard characteristic of the kusu sculpture of their male ancestors . It is a stylish figure which has a powerful expression. 
The Kusu miniature carvings exemplify artists workmanship and detail.This Include power figures, metal objects, miniature or traditional masks, the powerful figures were used for healings , protection, prosperity, fertility and hunting. Masks were used for Initiations, funerals, education and protection as well. Their art sculptures Include Kusu Staff , Kusu Mortar , Kusu whistle, Kusu cup, Kusu figure and Kusu mask.

 According to Authentic Africa’s historical account on Kusu stools, most of the Chief of the stools shared historical background with Luba, Hemba, Nkutsu and Tetela which are said to have came from the northwest.
 It is believed Kusu moved north through Luba, Songye and Hemba regions or territory acquiring social customs and learning artistic styles along the way when they settled in Dr. Congo when they split into 2 groups and migrated further north and south the stools of the Kusu are made up of wood, bronze , brass reserved for Chiefs and elders also the Kusu have shown a proclivity for geometrical design using sharp edged and round curve.
 Traditionally, Kusu have dolls, masks, leather floor mats, statues, sculptures, traditional paintings and jewelleries . 
The Kusu traditional knife a large the spatulate blade squared at the tip and swollen at midsection with central depression , fine hardwood grip with swollen center, which was two carved bands above and below and domed pommel. A thick bundle of raffia separates the blade with the dark spotting and areas of moderate pitting , the handle with good age patina a blade which is approximately 36 cm and overall 51 cm . It is said Kusu figure which has  a Antelope pigments.

 The Kusu Antelope figures shows a good signs of age , use and exposure as like other tribal knife which weapon historical’s account, Kusu tribal knife which dates back to the 1900s, about 60,000 Kusu people lived in the Southeastern part of Dr. Congo along the left bank of the Lulalaba river. Formerly, a hunting society, they have become more sedentary and have turned to agriculture and fishing.
 Kusu tend to live in small villages Isolated from each other and their figures symbolize the spirits of the Ancestors and the forest and half of figures have some Kasongo Influence and the Kusu is considered to be a bantu language and Gengele Creole is a Kusu creole language which has Kusu language , The Kusu bearded male miniature sculpture arts, contain to energize the figure, the figures were used commemorate the leaders of lineage and chiefs of land.
 It is believed figures were placed on the family shrines where offering and praises were conducted . The figures are made up of wood which dates back to approximately 20th Century , It is a number of chiefdoms, local Kusu styles of carving evolved sharing similarities but differing in details of sculpting and in use body marking and showing the Influence of Songye and Hema in overall style.
 The figures have holes carved in either abdomen  or head containing spiritual material, the typical Kusu power figure originated from the eastern part of Congo . In the form of a human half figure, with coffee bean eyes, short nose and closed mouth, straights, square shoulders , slightly bent arms and a round base broadening out into a cone shape.
 Carved from hardwood and dyed black . It is said Kusu traditional priest , soothsayer or traditional healer known as Nganga would then construct a net made of twisted woven fibre strings .The Nganga would then fill the net ball with spiritual material Including soil stones , the head of the power to protect its own Individual , the owner grant a bountiful hunt or give good health . 
It is said the Kusu power figure is very old with partly , skinny patina Including on the ball as a result of long term use . Only a hairline crack due to age on the left of the face and small , old piece of damage of the base . 
Otherwise, no damage originally power figures such as this had an Iron spike affixed to their round base which was then Inserted into ground to enable the figure to stand upright securely. 
The Present figure has a hole for this iron spike Its height 26cm between 1900 and the 1st third  of the 20th Century . Kusu Hemba female figure, the carving traditions of Kusu are longstanding and show significant influences from the neighboring Songye and Luba People.
 It is said the female ancestor figure reminiscent of the Luba and Hemba style, It is formed of a rectilinear shapes that produce a remarkably different Impression when viewed in profile. Ventral sacrifices and a deeply trancelike, In ward gaze further distinguish this fine Congolese the work which retains Its Original change condition of wood figures are very good with stable crack on base this Include wood, fiber, bamboo which dates far back conducted . 
The hands are placed the surface shows evidence of being through handing and age . 
The Kusu Mask and Its Tradition . 

The Kusu maks is an exceptionally beautiful and well preserved piece of the masks art, Others claimed Kusu and Batetela lived in the region between Lusamboo and the Upper Congo river in the provinces of Sankuru and Maniema. Kusu people practice fishing , raising cassava , banana and kola nuts . 
They are related to the Banyamulenge and Tetela people, separated from Tetela in the late 1800s after the Belgians and Arabs had arrived in the region. It is said they might have originated on the right bank of the Lomami river Kusu and Batetela or tetela are known for revolts in the 1890s. 
Their traditional skin drum Include sheep , leopard, goat as well this also include slit drum, the leopard skin drum was formerly used for wars and victory in battle , the drums is used for poetic and communication . 
It is believed the Kusu came northwest with Nkutshu and Tetela . Kusu passed through Luba, Hemba and Songye territories and Other their sculptures are of Kusongo Influence . 
Kusu Ethnic group and Its migration and separation from the Kingdom of Kongo  and Kingdom of Ndongo Present day Angola . 
Other myths,  which it is claimed Kusu used to be part of the Kingdom of Kongo which was a Kingdom located in the West Central Africa in Present day Northern Angola , Cabinda , the republic of the Congo , the western portion of Dr. Congo as well as the Southernmost part of Congo .
 Some believed or claimed Kusu were originally Ndongo People of Angola who had migrated and formed the Kusu tribe before separating from the Kingdom of Ndongo in Present day Angola.
It is claimed they had migrated by crossing the Kwanza river to Present day Dr. Congo . 
According to Khamithi’s account , Kusu and Other Bantus spoke Egyptian hieroglyphics while others believed they might have migrated Southerly from Present day Egypt then migrated to Abyssinia Present day Ethiopia , Present day Sudan before Kusu  made their final settlements in Dr. Congo .  
The Kusu , Zande and Mangbetu arts are characterized by spear or bow shafts , the art features with stylized elongated heads, their traditions Include making pottery, weaving raffia, and creating a traditional ceremonial dress . 
Other believed Kusu were part of the Kongo tribe and were part of the Kingdom of Kongo . Among the Kusu People of Dr. Congo , they make a dish known as Fufu which is made up of Cassava, Manioc tubers , pounded into the texture of an oatmeal which is eaten out of a communal bowl , other primary staples Include sweet potatoes , perch , bananas and plantains .
 In Kusu Culture, It is an Insult to use your left hand to shake the hands or giving Instructions using the left hand , using of the right hand is a sign of respect and dignity also fish is a primary food source for the Kusu , fish can be harvested after some months of feeding . Traditionally, women fry or salt the fish that the family did not consume . 
They also use kola nuts , palm nuts , wine , oil and fruits as well and beer is brewed using millet or maize and palm nut for special occasions , which usually Involve singing , dancing , playing of drums . Kusu Chief or Kusu Village headmen have the authority over the village land and ownership . 
Kusu People have natural resources such as Diamonds, Golds, Manganese and oil which was kept by their Ancestors also they practice a Patrilineal succession just like the Mongo People of Dr.Congo , In which Inheritance is passed through the Father’s side of the family . In Kusu marriage.

 It is said the man and his father or parents would give gifts which is valuable to the woman to be married her family requesting their son hand in marriage . The Kusu Traditional Priest is known as Nganga used medicine which are sacred to cure any sickness of the People of the Village.
 Nganga also have to master and know the herbs very well and throughout the Nganga Initiation process he or she must be chosen by God and Ancestors not by personal choice the Oracles which declare if one is chosen to become Nganga .
 Before the arrival of the European Missionaries who brought Christianity in the late 15th Century , Kusu were believed to be Spiritual People who had also a symbol of their Cross traditionally which has a similar shape to that of the Christian religious cross . 
Clothing and mats are made up of raffia palm tree furthermore , Kusu folklore is traditional way of communicating through Literature , Art , Music and Dance which is carried tradition from generation to generation , In Kusu Spirituality , A Crocodile is associated with something bad or bad forces while bird , lions and other animals is associated with good forces .
 Grandparents are always known for telling folktales while they put fire on in the evening also Kusu tradition there is a belief that  children are gifts of God which symbolize wealth , good fortune and other symbolism also all births and deaths are celebrated by singing and dancing as a way of honoring .
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