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Art of ConversionChristian Visual Culture in the Kingdom of Kongo$
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Cécile Fromont

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781469618715

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469618739.001.0001

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The Fabric of Power, Wealth, and Devotion

The Fabric of Power, Wealth, and Devotion

Clothing and Regalia of the Christian Kongo

(p.109) 3 The Fabric of Power, Wealth, and Devotion
Art of Conversion

CéCile Fromont

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter describes Kongo Christian fashion. The Kongo elite expressed their status as Christian nobles and participants in the Atlantic world by combining local clothing with imported textiles. The combination of local and foreign regalia gave the kingdom's elite a defined image that contributed to the promotion of the kingdom and became a motif in European imagery of overseas Christianity. The image of the Kongo elite in the early 17th century functioned in European missionary circles as a metaphor for the expansion of the church in Africa and in the world.

Keywords:   Kongo Christian fashion, Christian nobles, European imagery, overseas Christianity, Kongo elite

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