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

Technical and administrative staff


  • Basile Koechlin
  • athanasios magalios
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.