Culture & Society
This study analyzes the ways in which the ‘indigenous policy’ (politique indigène) of the colonial state was implemented in Mayombe (Lower Congo). One of the objectives is to examine how local chiefs were selected for this office and how their new role as 'chef médaillé' was determined. Questions are asked with respect to the impact of this policy on local ideas and concepts of power and leadership that were proper to the nineteenth-century political culture of Mayombe. The material culture of chiefship also receives special attention.