Capuchin Missionary at the Mission Station, Sogno, Kingdom of Kongo, 1740s

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Image Reference

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. 65.

The compound of the Capuchin mission station and portion of adjacent African settlement; missionary is "instructing" a small group of Africans. Caption notes this is the "hospice of Sonho" in the Congo, the first mission station established by the Italian Capuchins in this region; also noted is that the station is about "4 leagues from the Zaire river" and that 24 missionaries had already died in the excercise of their mission. 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. (Thanks to James Sweet for assistance in interpreting the source.)