Culture & Society

We carry out research on populations from Africa or with African roots, particularly Central Africa.

Our researchers work in various disciplines:

  • linguistics
  • anthropology
  • musicology
  • history
  • art history.

Scientific personnel

  • Jacky Maniacky, Head of service
    Linguistics, description and comparison of Bantu languages, Bantu linguistic heritage outside Africa (Latin America, USA)
  • Michela Araujo Ribeiro
  • Bambi Ceuppens, Anthropologist
    Congolese popular culture in Congo and Belgium, Congolese diaspora in Belgium, Belgo-Congolese history in Belgium and Congo
  • Sabine Bompuku Eyenga-Cornelis, Art Historian
    Colonial art in DRC, art and spirituality in Mongo country, tradition and modernity, iconography of Christ and Christianity
  • Maud Devos, Linguist
    Description and comparison of Bantu languages. Early history of Swahili (Mozambique) and continuing expansion (DR Congo, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi)
  • Felix Amand Fufulafu Zaniwe
  • Rémy Jadinon, Ethnomusicologist
    Contextualization of Central African music traditions, popular repertoire of Mitsogho ngombi harps in Gabon
  • Alzenir Mendes Martins de Menez
  • Sarah O'Neill, Medical Anthropologist
    FEDTWIN Diaspofood Project
  • Cristiana Panella, Social anthropologist
    Informal and illegal transnational trade, West Africa, Italy, and transnational connections
  • Diana SALAKHEDDIN, Anthropologist
  • Vicky Van Bockhaven
  • Hein Vanhee, Historian
    Precolonial and colonial history of Central Africa, interaction of local chiefs with the colonial government and missions

Technical and administrative staff

Databases and scientific tools


  • Bantu Lexical Reconstructions
    With nearly 10,000 entries and counting, Bantu Lexical Reconstructions is the world’s largest lexical database on the Bantu proto-language. Its updates depend directly on developments in comparative linguistics research.
  • Comparative Pottery Vocabulary Database
    This database offers an extensive collection of pottery vocabulary in the Bantu languages. 
  • Lexicostatistic study of Bantu languages
    Data collected for:
    Bastin Y., Coupez A. & Mann M. 1999. Continuity and Divergence in the Bantu languages: perspectives from a lexicostatistic study. Tervuren: Royal Museum for Central Africa. 


  • Musical instruments 
    Consult our musical instruments. This entire collection was digitised and published online as part of the MIMO (Musical Instrument Museums Online) project.
  • Audio recordings
    DEKKMMA, database of the museum’s sound archives. 

Social anthropology

The regularly updated RMCA Social Sciences and Humanities Documentation Centre (Centre de Documentation en Sciences Humaines et Sociales du MRAC) offers more than 50,000 references to articles and works that have been read and analysed. 


Modern plastic arts in Lubumbashi

Academic publications
External links
  • Stemmen van Afrika
    Stemmen van Afrika is a website about African languages, created by a team of linguists and Africa experts. The website is in Dutch.