Kete / Mbagani

Kete / Mbagani

The Kete are one of the subgroups of Luba Peoples of Democratic Republic of Congo. They are part of the Luba-Kasai subcluster of the Lubas.

The Kete of Congo (Kinshasa) are numbering 16,500 (, 2023).

Kete People

They are part of the Bantu, Central-Luba people cluster within the Sub-Saharan African affinity bloc.

This people group is only found in Congo (Kinshasa).

Their primary language is Kete.

The primary religion practiced by the Kete is Roman Catholicism.

The Mbagani people belong to the extinct group, the Mpasu. They migrated to their present location from the east during the 16th century. They are influenced by the southern neighbors, the Lunda, and were almost colonized by Chokwe at the end of the 19th century.

Economically, they survive by farming, and politically they are organized into small chiefdoms.



Mbagani carvers are renown for their beautiful carved statues and masks which are characterized by very large eye spaces painted white, coffee-bean eyes under the domed forehead, a quite pointed chin, a protruding mouth, a triangular nose. These masks were probably used in circumcision ceremonies or in society initiations. Another source says that these masks are related to healing ceremonies.