Introduction / History
The Mamvu live in the Watsa Territory of northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo. They are subsistence farmers, who live on a diet of rice, plantain, manioc, and millet. There are also coffee plantations and gold mines in the area. Many of the miners and plantation workers however, have come from outside. In some places the Mamvu are a minority in their own traditional area. Most Mamvu reside in small villages and homesteads. Their shelters are made of mud-wattle walls with thatched roof.
They speak a Sudanic language which they call "Tengo". It is related to Lese and Mangbetu. They use Bangala to talk to outsiders. The Mamvu are slow to change, but quite open to missionaries. They are very receptive to education. There are, however, only two schools that serve primarily Mamvu pupils. All the other schools have an ethnically mixed student body. The schooling is done in Bangala or French. Most of the Mamvu still practice traditional religion, often mixed with Christianity. The Assemblies of God first presented Christianity to them in 1932, but the younger generations did not embrace it and therefore other language groups predominate in the churches, and today few Mamvu are churched.
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