Angola’s Ancient Past

Out of the numerous ancient African cultures and kingdoms, Angola was one of the hardest ones to figure out their history prior to colonialism. Here are some sound sources to help people who are interested in finding out Angola’s past, prior to colonialism.

Modern Angola emerged mainly out of the territory of the former Kongo kingdom which encompassed much of the Lower Congo and northern Angola. The region, and the native Bantu kingdom, was a Portuguese colonial territory during the late nineteenth century and much of the twentieth century. Before that, it had seven hundred years of recorded or remembered history, and up to three thousand years of settlement. People speaking ancient versions of Kikongo probably arrived in the region encompassing the modern Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, and Gabon from the north as part of the larger Bantu migration. They were practicing agriculture by at least 1000 BC, and working iron by at least 400 BC.

The King of Angola would have been the King of the Kongo Kingdom, encompassing what is known today as northern Angola, Cabinda, the Republic of the Congo and the western portion of the Democratic republic of the Congo. The Dynasty lasted from 1400-1914 (though the record is unclear between 1718 and 1793). The ruling kings of Angola during the time of the Haitian Revolution would most likely have been Dom Henrique III Afonso Nlengi, King of Kongo (Manikongo) 1793-1802, Dom Alvaro XI Afonso Kafvasa, King of Kongo (Manikongo) 1802, and Dom Garcia V Afonso Ne Nkanga a Nvembi, King of Kongo (Manikongo) 1802-1830.

More information on traditional culture of Angola and outside influences.

The sport of capoeria is also very popular among young people in Angola. It is said to have originated among Angolan slaves who were taken to Brazil. Here, the slaves practised this unusual combination of dance and martial arts as a way to channel aggression and express themselves.

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