Sunday, April 24, 2016

Kongo and the Haitian Revolution

African Roots

The Haitian Revolution was a complex slave led movement that resulted in the abolishment of slavery on the French colonial island of Saint Domingue as well as independence for the mostly black population, completely turning Atlantic society on its head. The question of how a slave army outmaneuvered the French empire has fascinated many scholars. 

Historians Carolyn Fick and John Thornton have argued that one should take a less euro-centric view point when trying to understand the Haitian Revolution. They have made the case that the Haitian revolution had African roots, particularly Kongolese roots, and by studying the ideology of the kingdom of Kongo during the 18th century, it is possible to learn more about the mass movement that took place in Haiti. At the time of the Haitian revolution, nearly two thirds of all slaves on the island of Saint Domingue were born in Africa. It was in Africa where they gained their socialization, and in many ways, this African heritage influenced the Haitian Revolution. Kongo played a key role in the revolution because prior to the revolution in Haiti there was a large-scale civil war in Kongo. Thousands of these Kongolese war captive were traded, enslaved, and brought to Haiti. In fact, slaves purchased from the region surrounding the Kingdom of Kongo made up the majority of slaves brought to Haiti for two decades before the revolution.

Voodoo and Kings

Enslaved Africans brought cultural traditions with them across the middle passage and often times created updated meanings for these practices in their new Atlantic lives. On the island of Saint Domingue, religion and politics, both influenced by West African and Kongolese ideology, played a large part in the revolution. 

Christianity was brought to the Kingdom of Kongo in 1491 when king Nzinga a Nkuwu and his nobles adopted the religion. Nzinga’s son King Afonso I created a syncretic version of the Roman Catholic Church during his rule combining preexisting local beliefs with Catholic theology. Christianity was spread throughout the region, thus by the 18th century most of the Kongolese slaves who were brought to Haiti were exposed to Christianity, if they were not Christian themselves. Voodoo was a religion practiced by many slaves in Saint Domingue. Voodoo in Haiti, much like Christianity in Africa, was a blend of African Gods paired with Christian saints. It makes sense that slaves from Kongo, would influence and participate in voodoo ceremonies, which allowed them to maintain their old Cosmology and understanding of the world along with aspects of Christianity that were already familiar. One can look to the voodoo ceremony that took place in Bois- Caiman to understand the importance of voodoo to the revolution. Boukman Dutty an African Voodoo priest led a meeting that set in motion the slave uprisings in the north. While not Kongolese himself, Boukman was referrerd to by the Kongolese nickname Zamba, (most likely the term Kikongo word for nzamba or elephant in reference to his large structure) and many of his followers were indeed Kongolese. From this voodoo meeting, which was both both spiritual and strategic in nature, slaves attacked northern sugar plantations- burning fields, destroying machinery, and killing whites.

                                                 Artist: Ulrick Jean-Pierre Cayman Wood Ceremony

Kongolese political ideology also influenced the alliances slaves chose to make in the Haitian revolution. In his article “I Am the Subject of the King of Congo” African Political Ideology and the Haitian Revolution John Thornton describes both the early involvement of the Kongolese in the revolution and Kongolese political ideology through a quote from Macaya, a Konogolese leader at the start of the revolution. In response to commissioner Etienne Polverel’s request to return to the French Republic, Macaya said, “I am the subject of three kings: of the King of Kongo, master of all blacks; of the King of France who represents my father; of the King of Spain who represents my mother.” This quote is telling of the 18th century Kongolese political climate which was heavily influenced by the civil war. Thornton discusses that during the civil war, which many of the enslaved Konoglese in Haiti fought in, there were two questions to be asked- who was the king and what were his powers. These questions and thoughts on the ideological role of the king were brought to Haiti as well. 

Many Haitian slaves viewed the monarchy, in both Spanish and French forms, as a means to abolish slavery and limit the power of the Republic which was perpetuating the slave-plantation system. Even within their own slave communities many Haitian slaves who had come from Africa elected their own kings and queens. For Kongolese, whom amongst themselves debated over the role of the kings, kingship was not tyrannical as the French viewed it but a means of order and centralization. From this we can gain another level of understanding about the slaves’, particularly the African born slaves’, resistance to work alongside the Republic. Creole slaves who had been born in Haiti did not necessarily share the same political ideologies as Kongolese born slaves, but they needed to work with them in order to fight against the French, as many of the Kongolese slaves who had been civil war captives had desirable military experience. The blending of the Creole slaves’ new world mentalities along with African slaves political ideologies created a complex group that had different goals and methods of achieving those goals. Despite their differences their unification ultimately led to the abolishment of slavery and to independence from colonial rule. We can view this revolution as both an extension of African beliefs and ideologies as well as a response to New World realities.

Lasting Legacy

I've described some of the affects the Kingdom of Kongo had on the Haitian Revolution, but to look at the affects the Haitian Revolution had on the Kingdom of Kongo I went to the Trans Atlantic Slave Database. The Haitian Revolution brought the end of slavery in the territory in the region. I wanted to see the decline in slaves brought from the Kingdom of Kongo to Haiti.

From this graph we can see the large amount of Kongolese slaves coming to Haiti in the 18th century and then the harsh drop off during the revolution. While Kongolese slaves were no longer brought to Haiti after the revolution, a Kongolese legacy is still maintained in Haiti today through religious practices, language, and historic figures like Macaya and Boukman who is still referred to as his Kongolese nickname, Zamba. As many Haitian slaves and gens de couleur looked to France to truly extend the Rights of Man to cover all men, the revolution itself, that led to the the first independent black nation in colonial America, had very deep African roots and was in part led by Kongolese slaves who were less concerned with the French ideals of liberté et égalité and more so concerned with just kings who ruled with authority and ruled for the people. 

Apter, Andrew. 2002. “On African Origins: Creolization and Connaissance in Haitian Vodou”. American Ethnologist 29 (2). [Wiley, American Anthropological Association]: 233–60. http://www.jstor.org.libdata.lib.ua.edu/stable/3095167.

Carolyn E. Fick. "The Making of Haiti: The Saint Domingue Revolution from Below. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press. 1990. 

Thornton, John K.. 1993. “"I Am the Subject of the King of Congo": African Political Ideology and the Haitian Revolution”. Journal of World History 4 (2). University of Hawai'i Press: 181–214. http://www.jstor.org.libdata.lib.ua.edu/stable/20078560.

Thornton, John K.. 1988. “On the Trail of Voodoo: African Christianity in Africa and the Americas”. The Americas 44 (3). Cambridge University Press: 261–78. doi:10.2307/1006906.

 "Voyages Database." Voyages Database. http://www.slavevoyages.org/voyage/. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Something Old, Something New- Spirituality in Kongo

Cosmology of Kongo 

From its inception, Christianity in Kongo was formed on Kongolese theology, a theology that dates much further back than the Portuguese arrival to the region in the late 15th century. While not much is known about the Kingdom of Kongo before this date, through the syncretic nature of Kongolese Christianity, scholars have concluded that Kongolese cosmology stressed the importance of ancestors and a high god, often referred to as Nzambi a Mpungu. It was Nzambi a Mpungu who existed outside of the living world and created it, and bakulu, or ancestors, who had once been living in the world but now inhabited this other dimension. Kongolese theology also included powerful guardians called simbi who protected certain areas such as rivers, springs, and mountains. These guardians were considered to be the souls of long departed inhabitants or sometimes the original inhabitants. There were also beings that could inhabit nksi or a type of charm. This belief in the power of a nksi would travel across the Atlantic to the Americas through the slave trade. In Kongolese cosmology ancestors, nkisi, or simbi were not inherently good or evil. The nature of supernatural forces depended on the intentions of the person calling them into use.

Dikenga dia Kongo, a Kongolese Cross that symbolizes the cyclical nature of the natural world and the spiritual journey
Crossroads and Cosmologies: Diasporas and Ethnogenesis in the New World

Kongolese Christianity

When Roman Catholicism arrived in the Kingdom of Kongo with Portuguese explorer Diogo Cão in 1483, Christianity was brought into traditional Kongolese Cosmology. Shortly after the Portuguese 1483 arrival there was an exchange in Portuguese-Kongo hostages, and the ruling Kongo king Nzinga a Nkuwu granted missionaries to come into the Kingdom. The missionaries arrived in 1491, first converting the provincial ruler of the coastal province of Soyo, and then heading inward. Nzinga soon willingly converted to Christianity and was baptized that year. After his baptism he took the name João I in tribute to the Portuguese king João II. Nzinga advised his court, other noble officials, and peasants to follow suit with this conversion. Nzinga’s son Afonso Mvemba a Nzinga was stationed at the provincial post of Nsundi. Many missionaries accompanied him there, and unlike his father, who reverted to his previous beliefs before his death, Afonso became deeply embedded with the faith.

After Nzinga’s death in 1508, Afonso and his half brother Mpanzu a Kitma challenged each other for the throne. Afonso was able to overcome his brother in battle and gave credit to the appearance of Saint James the Great. Afonso went to great lengths to establish a Catholic church in Kongo. This process is described in his letters to Portugal. Afonso described his position and laws he put in place against the worship of idols. Afonso made the church legitimate and sustainable by training the kingdom’s schools in religious instructions and providing the church funding through royal assets and taxation. Afonso created a syncretic version of Christianity that would appeal to the people of Kongo. He worked with several Portuguese priests, particularly Rui d’Aguiar who stated that Afonso knew more of the Church’s tenants than he did. Afonso also collaborated with Kongolese who were educated in Europe, including his son Henrique who was named a bishop by the Roman Catholic church in 1518.

Years later, Afonso’s grandson, King Diogo I Nkumbi a Mpudi, created a Konoglese lay organization to account for the lack of foreign ordained clergy in Kongo. Diogo I helped spread the church to rural areas of the kingdom and also arranged missionary activity in the kingdom’s northern territory. Along with the Kongolese lay organization, early missionaries of the Jesuit Order also worked in the kingdom during Diogo’s reign.  Diogo I became increasingly disillusioned with the Jesuit presence as they demanded more and more acknowledgement and often proceeded directly in matters that defied the king’s interest. The church during Diogo’s rule grew strong and the Portuguese began to make attempts to gain control of it. The Portuguese sought to have the Pope place the Kongo church under the bishop of Sao Tomé. In 1540, the bishop of Sao Tomé attempted to exercise his control, but Diogo I refused to renounce his personal confessor, Manuel Afonso, as the bishop requested. The Portuguese made another attempt to secure power of the church in the late 16th century, and then finally attempted to destroy the church by moving the bishop to Luanda in the rival Portuguese colony of Angola and ceased to ordain any new clergy in Kongo.

In light of Portugal’s abandonment of the Kongolese church, like Diogo I before them, Kongolese kings maintained a solid laity. The limited ordained clergy would perform sacraments and the lay organization maintained education. These lay members of the church were called mestre and were salaried workers typically pulled from the nobility and paid by the state who taught literacy and religious education. The Jesuits would eventually return in the early 17th century and would be followed by Italian Capuchins who were sent as a compromise when the Konoglese church requested to the pope that they be split from the Portuguese church for good. The Kongolese Christianity that began in 1491 under king Nzinga lasted in the kingdom for over 200 years.

An African Religion- Syncretism 

As opposed to other areas of the Atlantic world where European Christianity was brought to native populations through oppression and violence, Christianity came to the Kingdom of Kongo relatively peacefully. This is because the Kongo Christianity was an expansion of traditional Kongolese theology. It was viewed as a constructive force rather than a destructive one, as many parts of Kongolese cosmology were accepted and used in this form of Christianity. The Christian doctrine was translated into Kikongo, the local language, as Portuguese missionaries wrote Kikongo dictionaries and translated religious texts with the help of the local literate class of priests formed under the rule of Afonso I. The church established under Afonso was not a reproduction of the Portuguese church but an embrace of Kongo ideology. Many Kongo believed in ancestors who lived in another world, thus the Holy Trinity was described as “three people”. The word ukisi a noun from the same root as the word nkisi (which was meant to describe a sacred charm or idol) was used as the word for holy. Key religious terms were taken from Kikongo words such as the same name for previous priests- nganga and the word for God- Nzambu Mpungu. This care in the creation of the theology developed by Afonso and his advisors, both Kongolese nobles and Portuguese priests, created a Christianity that seemed more native than foreign. This syncretic version of Christianity can be observed in religious Kongo art.

Crucifix, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

This carving from the 16th or 17th century, depicts a Kongo icon called the Four Moments of the Sun, which is circled around a roman cross (the cross itself an important motif in Kongo culture). The icon represents the four divisions of day, representing the journey of human life from birth the ancestral afterlife. While this icon is of Kongo cosmology, Christ is portrayed in a European manner representative of European models of the time.

Substance or Superficiality 

There is much scholarly debate over how authentic Kongolese conversion to Christianity was. Many have argued that the conversion was superficial and rejected by the majority of the population. They have cited Nzinga's return to his old faith after his initial conversion, as proof that it was not a genuine conversion, but one done for political gain. While it is true that Kongo’s Christian status helped cement political and economic ties between the Portuguese and the people of Kongo, it does not disprove the sincerity of the kingdom’s adoption of Christianity that lasted 200 years.  The end of the Kingdom of Kongo’s Christianity came in the 19th century when European priests arrived in Kongo during Portugal’s colonial occupation. It is here where they rejected the local form of Christianity. J.K. Thorton discusses that the disappearance of Christianity in Kongo in the nineteenth century was due the changing definition of Christianity among European clergy, including Rome. Thorthon cites the 200 plus years that the Catholic church acknowledged Kongo’s syncretic Christianity as Orthodox. In doing so Thorton speaks to the scholars of the 1960s and 70s like David Birmingham who viewed Kongo Christianity as a façade. It is clear to me that 200 years of religious practice is much more than a superficial, political ploy. Perhaps Nzinga converted to Christianity in 1491 under some other pretext, but the implications of this conversion were very real, not only in the Kongo but also in the new world as Kongolese Christianity played a role in both the Afro-Brazilian Quimbana religion as well as the formation of Voodoo in Haiti.

Birmingham, David. "Central Africa from Cameroun to the Zambezi." The Cambridge History of Africa 3 (1975): 519-20.

Crucifix. 16th-17th Century. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Democratic Republic of the Congo; Angola; Republic of the Congo.Metmuseum. Web. <http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/acko/hd_acko.htm>.

Fennell, Christopher C., and Kevin M. Bartoy. "Crossroads and Cosmologies: Diasporas and Ethnogenesis in the New World." African Diaspora Archaeology Newsletter 11, no. 4 (2008): 33.

Heywood, Linda M. Central Africans and cultural transformations in the American diaspora. Cambridge University Press, 2002.

MacGaffey, Wyatt. "Religion and society in central Africa: the BaKongo of lower Zaire." (1986).

Thornton, John. 1977. “Demography and History in the Kingdom of Kongo, 1550-1750”. The Journal of African History 18 (4). Cambridge University Press: 507–30. 

Thornton, John K. "Religious and ceremonial life in the Kongo and Mbundu areas, 1500-1700." 
Central Africans and cultural transformations in the American diaspora (2002): 71-90.

Thornton, John. 1984. “The Development of an African Catholic Church in the Kingdom of Kongo, 1491-1750”. The Journal of African History 25 (2). Cambridge University Press: 147–67. 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

A Noble's Story of Enslavement

The year is 1626, and I write this account of my enslavement from Bahia, Brazil. My story of enslavement is in reality a story of trade--trade that took me from a position of nobility, to an invited guest to Portugal, to a slave trader, and eventually to a person of bondage. I was born in the capital city of the Kingdom of Kongo, Sao Salvador, nearly 40 years ago. My father was a member of the royal court and his father before him an advisor to king Alfonso. We enjoyed relative prosperity in our status, and enslavement was never on my mind. As a child I encountered slavery on a daily basis. The city of Sao Salvador is surrounded by large agricultural plantations, in order to cut down on the transportation costs of agricultural goods from distant rural villages. These plantations use the labor of enslaved men, but it is a type of enslavement that differs from that sought by the Portuguese. It is the Kongo tradition to only enslave foreigners who have been captured in war. Even then these slaves are often allowed to run their self-sufficient households and can assimilate into the villages where they work and live. These foreign-captured slaves would be sold to the Portuguese, and they eventually began to be given as payment replacing other forms of currency.

The use of slaves as commodity led to an increase in the value of the Kongo slave market. Still I felt safe from this changing world of slave trade. I even found profit in it myself. At 18, I was sent to Portugal as a noble emissary and was taught much about Portuguese language and culture. Twelve slaves were sent with me to cover the cost of my visit. When I returned to Kongo, I returned to the Kongo-Portuguese war and the assent of Pedro II to the crown.  My close relations to Portugal brought me distrustful scrutiny, and I was sent from Sao Salvador to the southern countryside to regulate the collection of taxes in this area. This move left me with little room for political and economic growth.  It was here, in this remote location, where I was introduced to the lucrative aspects of the slave trade. I began collaborating with illicit Portuguese traders who worked outside of the legal Kongo slave market. I sold war captives and undesirables in my area into bondage. As the need for slaves grew and Kongo’s expansion and warring decreased, many nobles like myself began to push the line of who could be enslaved. I oversaw the sale of men and women who would’ve formerly been protected as freemen into bondage. While I am not proud of this, it is what I felt was necessary, as the Portuguese traders would have kidnapped people in this area anyways.

In the end, even I could not escape the clutches of the slave trade. The conflict between the Portuguese and Kongo rule maintained and in 1622 the Portuguese governor of Angola, João Correia de Sousa, invaded southern Kongo, claiming that many runaway slaves from the Angola market were hiding in this region. I, along with a few other nobles, and many freemen were captured and taken to the Angolan slave-shipping town of Luanda. My wife, my children, and the life I had made for myself were now only a distant reality. I knew what lay ahead of me. I had seen the process firsthand when I went to Portugal and the slaves who accompanied me were tied below in the cramped bottom deck of the vessel. When I was sent to the south, I had facilitated this process countless times, never going onboard the ship, but knowing very well of its destination. Here I was in a holding center waiting to board a ship which would be stopping in Maderia, at several points along the gold coast to Soyo, and finally to Luanda before taking off across the never-ending sea to Brazil. In a way the slave trade had come full circle--the trader becoming the enslaved. My story is an ironic testament to the destructive nature of the trade, and I am the prime example of how the institute of slavery leaves no one unscathed.

Heywood, Linda M. "Slavery and its transformation in the kingdom of Kongo: 1491–1800." The Journal of African History 50, no. 01 (2009): 1-22.

Nunn, Nathan. The long-term effects of Africa's slave trades. No. w13367. National Bureau of Economic Research, 2007.

Thornton, J.K., 1983. The Kingdom of Kongo: Civil War and Transition, 1641-1718 (p. 29). Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Transatlantic Slave Trade

Slavery in The Kingdom of Kongo 

The slave trade was important for maintaining The Kingdom of Kongo’s relationship with the Portuguese. The king would trade slaves, typically foreigners captured in war, as commodity exports in exchange for European goods but also as a means to maintain diplomatic ties. Towards the beginning of the transatlantic slave trade the kings of The Kingdom of Kongo respected and observed the difference regarding enslavement for foreign-born captives and native born citizens who were protected from bondage. The distinction separating these two groups would become blurred as the slave trade progressed due to internal Kongo political conflicts, which were often influenced by the Portuguese insatiable need for labor.

In the early 16th century King Afonso set up slave trade with Portugal through secure markets where the Portuguese could buy foreign captives as slaves, allowing the king to maintain local customs of the kinds of people who could be enslaved. However the Portuguese traders went outside of these markets, preferring to trade with coastal communities. King Afonso wrote to the king of Portugal decrying this Portuguese practice stating that the Portuguese traders who were acting outside of the proper channels were capturing those who were not considered slaves by Kongo standards, even some noblemen. He complained of coastal vassals scheming with the Portuguese to gain wealth and power that would subsequently upset the centralization of Kongo rule. King Afonso’s successor Diogo I faced similar issues with the Portuguese who had taken to sailing upriver to the Malebo Pool to purchase slaves from BaTeke tradesmen, breaking the Portuguese Kongo contract, which restricted the Portuguese to buying the slaves offered by King Diogo. While slavery became an increasingly large form of foreign exchange, the rulers of Kongo monitored the trade closely, paying particular attention and care to protecting freeborn Kongo citizens.

In 1623 King Pedro II wrote to Philip of Spain that the governor of Angola, João Correia de Sousa, had invaded Kongo and enslaved many nobles and free people who were sent to Brazil. King Philip sent an inquiry to the governor of Brazil, and while most had already been taken to different regions, some of the illegally enslaved were found and returned to Kongo. Through the sixteenth and start of the seventeenth century the vigilance of the Kongo rulers mostly protected free Kongo from entering the slave trade. However, while the freemen were protected the amount of slaves being used as export commodities only rose.

Father Filipe Franco spoke of the Portuguese insatiability for slaves from Kongo “in a place of gold or silver or other things that serve as money in other places, the trade and money are pieces [slaves] which are not gold nor cloth but creatures.’  Similarly acknowledging the moral dilemma of slavery, in 1643 Kongo King Garcia II would write “in our simplicity we gave place to that from which grows all the evils of our country.” The issue with using slaves as the means for all types of payments, as the Kingdom of Kongo had done, was that the demand to use slaves as money was high, and owning slaves became very lucrative. Moving into the seventeenth century, as Kongo stopped expanding its territory and enslaving war criminals, many nobles began pushing the line of who could be enslaved, placing formerly protected freemen into bondage. Freemen became increasingly enslaved and by the height of the transatlantic slave trade it was not just foreign born captives who were being taken from Kongo to the new world.

The Trans-Atlantic Slave Database

The capturing of slaves in Kongo was only one aspect of the transatlantic slave trade. The next step in the commodification of slaves occurred aboard slave ships along the middle passage. Historian John Rediker describes the slave ship as “crucial to the making of modern capitalism” and also as “an instrument of terror.” Upwards of 12 million people were transported across the Atlantic in the slave trade. By using the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database we can look at the quantification of human greed, horror, and fear. In her article “'She must go overboard & shall go overboard': diseased bodies and the spectacle of murder at sea” Sowande’ Mustakeem uses the slave ship experience of an anonymous female slave to explore the psychological and physical realities of the transatlantic slave trade. Using the experience aboard one ship to examine the general makeup and attitudes of slaves and sailors on ships throughout the slave trade is interesting to me. I thought looking into individual ships through the voyage database would be a good point of entrance to the Transatlantic slave database. 

I began with the story I mentioned in the section above in which King Pedro II wrote to King Philip in 1623 claiming that the governor of Angola, João Correia de Sousa, had invaded Kongo and enslaved many nobles and free people who were then sent to Brazil. As tensions rose between the Portuguese and the people of Kongo, so did tensions between Kongo rulers and the governors of the Portuguese colony of Angola located to the south of the Kingdom of Kongo. In 1622 Portuguese governor João Correia de Sousa invaded southern Kongo and into the Kasanze region, which was said to have been used as a refuge for slaves escaping the Portuguese Angolan deportation city of Luanda. Here in this region, the governor captured Kongo people, many freemen and some nobles, and these Kongo people were enslaved and sent to Brazil around 1623.

I was interested in seeing if I could find a ship on the voyage database that fit the criteria of this story. In the database I selected Luanda as the principal place of slave purchase and Brazil as the principal place of slave landing. I also made the time frame from 1622 to 1625. A voyage appeared following this criteria from 1624. This is a year later than King Pedro II's 1623 letter to Spain, but perhaps he was writing that letter as the ship sailed through the Atlantic reaching its principal landing point of Bahia, Brazil in early 1624. Or perhaps this is a completely different voyage. From the database what we can tell is that this ship departed from the slave purchasing city of Luanda and was temporarily detained by the Dutch before reaching Bahia in 1624.

From the database we also know that of the 284 slaves who embarked 245 disembarked. We don’t know what happened to the 39 people who didn’t make it to shore. Maybe like Mustakeem’s anonymous female slave, they died of disease. Maybe they were led to suicide like those in Equiano’s account of his journey. Maybe some were thrown to the sharks as Rediker explains. Maybe this is the ship described by King Pedro II, and once it arrived in Brazil, some of the noblemen and free Kongo people were tracked down and returned home. What we can assume, whether this is the ship from King Pedro II's account or not, is that most of the 245 people who got off of this ship in Brazil did not return home and were forced to reconcile with the reality of their new life and surroundings—forced to endure unimaginable hardships and to create new forms of existence away from their original societies.

Equiano, O., 1798. The interesting narrative of the life of Olaudah Equiano

Heywood, Linda M. "Slavery and its transformation in the kingdom of Kongo: 1491–1800." The Journal of African History 50, no. 01 (2009): 1-22.

Mustakeem, Sowande. "“She must go overboard & shall go overboard”: Diseased bodies and the spectacle of murder at sea." Atlantic Studies 8, no. 3 (2011): 301-316.

Rediker, Marcus. "History from below the water line: Sharks and the Atlantic slave trade." Atlantic Studies 5, no. 2 (2008): 285-297.

Thornton, J.K., 1983. The Kingdom of Kongo: Civil War and Transition, 1641-1718 (p. 29). Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

 "The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database Has Information on Almost 36,000 Slaving Voyages." Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Accessed March 05, 2016. http://www.slavevoyages.org/.