Original Research

The Banyamulenge of the Democratic Republic of Congo: A cultural community in the making

S.L. Rukundwa
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 60, No 1/2 | a509 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v60i1/2.509 | © 2004 S.L. Rukundwa | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 October 2004 | Published: 20 October 2004

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S.L. Rukundwa, Unversity of Pretoria, South Africa

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In recent years the name Banyamulenge has become associated with a warrior group in Eastern Congo because of the role some of its community members played in the war against the Mobutu regime. Researchers have been intrigued by the political motivations which unfortunately do not cover the cultural aspects of this community. This article attempts to document the cultural heritage of the Banyamulenge community. Many of the practices and traditions have become obsolete. The article explains the Banyamulenge cultural way of living, and how the divine was traditionally revealed to them in the form of human deities. Burnt sacrifice was part of community worship. The article documents what has been learnt from elders about the oral tradition, the cultural and religious realities of the community.


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