A Dance Of Assassins: Performing Early Colonial Hegemony In The Congo

Paperback | December 20, 2012

byAllen F. Roberts

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A Dance of Assassins presents the competing histories of how Congolese Chief Lusinga and Belgian Lieutenant Storms engaged in a deadly clash while striving to establish hegemony along the southwestern shores of Lake Tanganyika in the 1880s. While Lusinga participated in the east African slave trade, Storms' secret mandate was to meet Henry Stanley's eastward march and trace "a white line across the Dark Continent" to legitimize King Leopold's audacious claim to the Congo. Confrontation was inevitable, and Lusinga lost his head. His skull became the subject of a sinister evolutionary treatise, while his ancestral figure is now considered a treasure of the Royal Museum for Central Africa. Allen F. Roberts reveals the theatricality of early colonial encounter and how it continues to influence Congolese and Belgian understandings of history today.

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A Dance of Assassins presents the competing histories of how Congolese Chief Lusinga and Belgian Lieutenant Storms engaged in a deadly clash while striving to establish hegemony along the southwestern shores of Lake Tanganyika in the 1880s. While Lusinga participated in the east African slave trade, Storms' secret mandate was to meet H...

Allen F. Roberts is Professor in the Department of World Arts and Cultures at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is author (with Mary Nooter Roberts) of A Saint in the City: Sufi Arts of Urban Senegal, which was awarded the Herskovits Prize.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:328 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.8 inPublished:December 20, 2012Publisher:Indiana University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:025300750X

ISBN - 13:9780253007506

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction

Part I. The "Emperor" Strikes Back
1. Invitation to a Beheading
2. A Conflict of Memories
3. Histories Made by Bodies
4. Tropical Gothic
5. Storms the Headhunter

Part II. Remembering the Dismembered
6. The Rise of a Colonial Macabre
7. Art Évo on the Chaussée d'Ixelles
8. Lusinga's Lasting Laughs
9. Composing Decomposition
10. Defiances of the Dead

Appendix A: Some Background on Our Protagonists
Appendix B: A Note on Illustrations
Glossary
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Editorial Reviews

"A Dance of Assassins... is a deeply engaging account of the complex struggles that connected the lives of Europeans and Africans in the earliest days of the colonial encounter in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Elegantly written, this book challenges prevailing thinking about colonization and its effects on Africans and Europeans." -H-Net Reviews H-AfrArts