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The Congo basin is a vast area of land in Africa which straddles the Equator Its historical records begin with the discovery of the Congo River by the PotugeseNelson 19942 This land was inhabited long before European arrival the Mongo and other indigenous people of this area already lived in this area This essay will delineate the short term and lasting effects of European Imperialism in the Congo basin in regard mostly to the Mongo To evaluate the changes which took place with the arrival of Europeans first one must learn about the Mongo prior to colonization The Mongo lived in the segmentary lineage model They were arranged in small-scale villages with kinship and seniority being large social determinants These were not the only factors involved personal achievement played a very important role in the Mongo The result was a complex competitive and dynamic societyNelson 199413 The economy of the Mongo was based on the idea of subsistence but in some areas specialization occurred and the result was trade among groups This dates back to the first settlers of the Congo basin The first migrants moved to the most favorable living areas mainly by the water These groups would fish for their food Other groups would settle inland and take up hunting and gathering as their main sources of food These groups eventually started to trade and a market system beganNelson 1994 18 The Mongo were an inland group whose main food producing activities included hunting gathering fishing and agriculture No one activity was dominant each was equally important and was used according to the natural factors including season and local interestsNelson 199419 The Europeans came to this part of Africa and did not understand these people at all This misconception led to much ignorance of the native groups The lifestyle of the Mongo and others were soon to change The ignorance on the part of the Belgians on first arrival to the Mongo way
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