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date: 12 April 2021

Congo, Democratic Republic of the (Fr. République Démocratique du Congo) [formerly Belgian Congo, Zaïre]locked

  • Alan P. Merriam,
  • Kishilo W’itunga
  •  and Kazadi Wa Mukuna


(Fr. République Démocratique du Congo) [formerly Belgian Congo, Zaïre]

Country in Central Africa. It is the third largest country in Africa, with an area of 2,344,885 km² and a population of 51·75 million (2000 estimate). Recognized as The Congo Free State in 1884, it was annexed to Belgium in 1908 as the Belgian Congo. It became independent in 1960 and was renamed Zaïre in 1971. In 1997, following Laurent Kabila’s defeat of the government of Mobutu Sésé Séko, the country was renamed the Democratic Republic of the Congo ( fig.1 ).

Alan P. Merriam, revised by Kishilo W’itunga

Archaeological excavations undertaken over several years in the Lupemba region, situated along the Congo river in the marshy lakeland area of Kisale and Lupemba in the middle of Katanga province, has shown that these parts have been inhabited since the 9th millennium bce. However, no remains of musical instruments preceding the Congolese Iron Age (i.e. before ...

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African Music
The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music