par Bostoen, Koen ;Tshiyayi, Odjas Ndonda;De Schryver, Gilles-Maurice
Référence Annalen - Koninklijk Museum voor Midden-Afrika. Menselijke wetenschappen, 19, page (53-83)
Publication Publié, 2013
Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : This article offers an in-depth historical-comparative linguistic account of the origin and etymology of ngangula. This term is not only a widespread blacksmith term in the Lower Congo region, but also a traditional royal Kongo title attesting to the importance of the blacksmith metaphor in Kongo political ideology. Popular etymology has it that ngangula is related to nganga, reconstructed in Proto-Bantu as *-ganga and commonly translated as 'mcdicinc-man'. It is argued here that this widely held belief does not stand up to scrutiny. The term ngangula is shown to be derived from the common Bantu verb *pangod- meaning 4to cut; to separate'. Thanks to a distinctive diachronic sound change, it is even possible to locate quite precisely the term's origin within the Kikongo dialcct continuum. Its provenance gives new credibility to an earlier but discarded hypothesis situating the origins of the Kongo kingdom in the eastern part of the Lower Congo, somewhere in-between the Inkisi and Kwango Rivers.