being entertained by village head in Sogno, Kingdom of Kongo, in the 1740s.
|From 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. 181.
|The village head or
chief ("mani") and the Capuchin missionary are seated on stools in
front of a house; villagers bring provisions, presumably gifts for
missionary. One of the Africans is kneeling, holding a cross. Caption notes
that the head of the village has offered a house to the missionary for the
period of his stay in the village; only the village head and missionary are
allowed to sit; the man kneeling with the cross is the interpreter. 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.