Sex 18 afrigha
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Their statements reveal what has been silenced by official historiography; namely, sexual and non-sexual terror as innate to colonial power.
Mingo narrates how sentries made her lift her dress and put hot clay into her sexual parts while she was making bricks.
As Achille Mbembe has argued, violence in the colony is non-existent unless there is a sense of proximity and being in contact.
Sexual violence was therefore not limited to the territories where rubber was grown and harvested and it was certainly not limited to King Leopold’s colonial domain.
The exploitation of rubber was assured by State officials and through a network of African auxiliaries (also known as sentries, sentinels or capitas), who were put into a certain area or village by the State or one of the concession companies.
Their task was to supervise the work of the natives in the forest, mainly in rubber production.
This Commission collected bare statements of facts, recorded by eyewitnesses.
Of the 370 testimonies by colonial officials, missionaries and indigenous people, 20 came from women (3 from missionaries’ wives).
The kidnapping (also referred to as ) of women, especially the beautiful ones, is a recurring theme in the archives.
At least two women (Jema and Bonyonoto) complained about how they were taken from their homes and made mistress to the white man or a sentry.
When people in privileged positions speak out in favour of colonialism, this cannot be ignored.
Much has been written on colonialism’s racialisation, its impunity and inhumanity, its dismantling of indigenous structures, its violence and suffering (including by Ami V Shah and Swati Parashar.
Her father’s corpse was given to the sentries’ boys who ate him.