Melissa MacVicar –Author

The Bakongo Religion-Fact or Fiction?

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I have had a number of people ask me about the references to the Bakongo religion in EVER NEAR. Some believed I made it up, but I assure you I did not. Bakongo is a very real religious and ethnic group from the west coast of Africa-the Congo Region in fact. The Congo was a major slave trade area. Many African American slaves in the U.S. south practiced aspects of it, often combining it with the tenets of Christianity.  Bakongo had no written scriptures and varied based on tribal separations. Most of the facts I used in EVER NEAR came from this article, Cemetery Symbolism,including the spirit world being upside down under ours and the pitchers and candles used to help the spirits find their way. congograve

The skeleton key that Jade wears in EVER NEAR came from my own imagination. However I used the cosmogram, a symbol in the Bakongo religion, for the wheel part of it. cosmogramThe cosmogram is discussed here. This paper/article is interesting because the belief in human conjurers like Jade is addressed.

Finally, I combined the key with the idea of the wheel. The wagon wheel pattern was part of the quilt symbolism used by the Underground Railroad to help runaway slaves escape North. The main article I used for this is found here.

 Jade good one

Thanks for reading!

Author: Melissa MacVicar

Melissa was born and mostly raised on Nantucket Island, and she currently lives there with her husband and two teenage children. When not being a wife and mother and teaching writing to seventh graders, she enjoys binge watching shows like Big Little Lies, House of Cards, and Outlander. Despite the rumors to the contrary, she does not actually wish she was a teenager again, nor does she see ghosts like the main character in her first novel, Ever Near. She does, however, love to hear from readers so send her a message on social media or at her email: Twitter: @MelissaMacVicar Facebook: Melissa MacVicar Instagram: melissa.macvicar

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