Kongo Majesty, European Savagery

Meredeth Turshen reviews a recent exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan entitled, Kongo: Power and Majesty. She marvels at the extraordinary artistic production of Kongo society and asks, why were the Africans who created these instruments not honored as contemporaries of Michelangelo? Why didn’t Europeans regard the Kongo civilization as comparable to the Renaissance? Why did they reduce Africans to raw human labour?