Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Muntu, Kintu , and Bumuntu are the three fundamental concepts involved in the definition of a human being in the African context. Bumuntu means the quintessence of personhood, that fundamental authentic mode of being humane. Bumuntu stands for the content of a Muntu , the moral character, the essence of genuine humanity, and the essence of a deeply humane being. This word is widespread in Bantu languages. Ubuntu , for instance, is a linguistic variant of Bumuntu in southern Africa. In other African cultural groups, one finds profound similarities to the Bantu paradigm. In fact, the Akan Tiboa-Aboa paradigm of personhood, the Muntu-Kintu paradigm of the Luba religion or the vision of humanity in Yoruba religion, all point to the existence of a common African vision of personhood. In the Kiluba language, a human being (man or woman) is referred to as a Muntu (pi. Bantu). Muntu is not Kintu ...