Funeral, Angola, 1786-87

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Image Reference

Louis de Grandpre, Voyage a la cote occidentale d'Afrique, fait dans les années 1786 et 1787 (Paris, 1801), vol. 1, facing p. 143. (Copy in Library Company of Philadelphia)

Caption, "Vue de la montagne de Cabende prise au midi, et Deuil du masouc, Andris Poncouta, macaye" (View of the Cabinda mountain taken at noon, and Funeral of the "masouc", Andris Poncouta, "macaye"). The author gives a lengthy description of the funeral of an important personage. The "Black Congolese bury their dead, but mourn them a long time before burying them; since the funeral is the day the mourning period comes to an end, it is consecrated to rejoicing. Therefore, the burial of a Congolese man isn't a somber affair, and everyone rejoices . . . . The dead man is placed on a bed of honor, and placed in the middle of a large courtyard, under a tent which contains his finest objects . . . . " (pp. 141-44). Author was a French Naval officer who was mainly in the Angola region; engravings in his book were made from drawings done from his own observations in 1786-87.