For live links, click to: riverhouses.org/2019-mbanza-kongo
(Welcome to a new homeschool year and a new tour of World Heritage Sites around the globe! Print a copy of our River Houses World Heritage Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us every Wednesday.)
Angola in southwest Africa is one of our homeschool countries-of-the-week, so why not spend a few minutes today learning about one of Angola’s World Heritage Sites: Mbanza Kongo, the Capital of the Former Kingdom of Kongo.
Mbanza Kongo was the royal center of the regional Kilukeni dynasty during the 1400s, and then a focal point of Portuguese contact and settlement from the late 1400s onward.
“The town of Mbanza Kongo, located on a plateau at an altitude of 570 m, was the political and spiritual capital of the Kingdom of Kongo, one of the largest constituted states in Southern Africa from the 14th to 19th centuries. The historical area grew around the royal residence, the customary court and the holy tree, as well as the royal funeral places. When the Portuguese arrived in the 15th century they added stone buildings constructed in accordance with European methods to the existing conurbation built in local materials. Mbanza Kongo illustrates, more than anywhere in sub-Saharan Africa, the profound changes caused by the introduction of Christianity and the arrival of the Portuguese into Central Africa.“ (UNESCO World Heritage Centre #1151)
Mbanza Kongo was added to the World Heritage List in 2017.
World Heritage Sites are cultural or natural landmarks of international significance, selected for recognition by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. More than 1000 such sites have been recognized in over 160 countries, and we post one every Wednesday, drawn from one of our homeschool countries-of-the-week. You can find a complete list online at the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and in Wikipedia.
The UNESCO World Heritage Centre also has a free and comprehensive World Heritage education kit for teachers and a wonderful full-color wall map of World Heritage Sites (available for the cost of shipping). Why not add them both to your own homeschool library. 🗺
What world treasures will you be exploring in your homeschool this week? 😊
❡ Books in the running brooks: You can always turn to your River Houses almanac, atlas, and history encyclopedia (riverhouses.org/books) for more information about any of our countries-of-the-week. The almanac has profiles of all the nations of the world on pages 745–852; the endpapers of the atlas are indexes that will show you where all of the individual national and regional maps may be found; the history encyclopedia includes national histories on pages 489–599; and you can find additional illustrations, flags, and other mentions through the indexes in each of these volumes. For an ideal little lesson, just write the name of the Weekly World Heritage Site on your homeschool bulletin board, find its location in your atlas, read UNESCO’s one-paragraph description aloud, look at a picture or two, and you’re done. Over the course of the year, without even realizing it, your students will absorb a wealth of new historical, geographical, and cultural information. 🇦🇴
❡ The great globe itself: This is one of our regular Homeschool States & Countries posts featuring historic sites of international importance. Download your own copy of our River Houses World Heritage Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us as we tour the planet, and add your name to our free weekly mailing list (riverhouses.org/newsletter) to get great homeschool teaching ideas delivered right to your mailbox all through the year. 🌍