Hip Deep Angola radio series, part 3: A Spiritual Journey to Mbanza-Kongo

ANTONIO MADIATA, player of the lungoyi-ngoyi, the 2-stringed Kongo viola.

Ned Sublette writes, "This summer I had the tremendous experience of going to Mbanza-Kongo, in the north of Angola, where I recorded material for an episode of Afropop Worldwide Hip Deep and a still unfinished piece of writing."

You can hear it on Soundcloud, and it has also been broadcast on PRI affiliate stations around the US.

"Meanwhile, it's being broadcast against a background of turmoil in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo," Ned adds. "See this and this."

I've written about the earlier installments in the series, and encourage you to listen and enjoy. More about this chapter, below.

HIP DEEP ANGOLA 3: A SPIRITUAL JOURNEY TO MBANZA-KONGO (distribution date November 22). Today Mbanza-Kongo (Kongo City) is part of Angola, in the north where the Congo River divides Angola from the Democratic Republic of Congo. When the first missionaries arrived there in 1491, it was the seat from which the Manikongo (king) ruled over a large area that reached to south of Luanda. It was a city of luxury, with perhaps as many as 60,000 people at its peak. To make this unprecedented program, producer Ned Sublette traveled to Mbanza-Kongo to rendezvous with Dr. Bárbaro Martínez Ruiz, professor of art and art history at Stanford.

We’ll learn about the simbi, the spirits that Martínez Ruiz describes as “the multiple power of god”; hear Antonio Madiata play the lungoyi-ngoyi, the two-stringed viola of the Kongo court; attend a session of the lumbu, the traditional tribunal of elders; listen to the voice of a deceased singer who took 500 years of genealogical knowledge with him when he departed; talk to traditional healer Pedro Lópes; and with the help of historian C. Daniel Dawson and with Angolan composer and musicologist Victor Gama, we’ll examine Kongo-Ngola culture in the diaspora – in Brasil, Haiti, Cuba, and more.

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