Angola Exploration, Population, and Ethnology

Exploration. – Angola was discovered in 1486 by Diego Cão, squire of King John II of Portugal, after his second trip to the mouth of the Congo (Zaire). In 1574 the Portuguese settled there. The first geographical map where the Congo and Angola are represented is from 1591; it is by Filippo Pigafetta of Vicenza, and was published in Rome. In 1663 Manuel Godinho, who left Loanda, crossed the African continent from Angola to Mozambique, the other Portuguese colony, discovered by Vasco de Gama in 1498. In 1682, the city of Novo Redondo was founded on the coast. The same itinerary of Manuel Godinho was followed, in 1795, by José d’Assumpção and by Mello. In 1807 the Saldanha began journeys to extend Portuguese rule over the indigenous peoples of the interior. The explorations carried out by Cardozo and others date back to 1816 and 1817, including the two Portuguese officers Monteiro and Gamitto, who from Tete (Mozambique) went up the Zambezi, then almost unknown, and reached the kingdom of Loanda. From 1842 to 1848 there are the travels of Carlo Peters, from S. Paolo di Loanda to Mozambique, of Rodríguez García, who crossed the Benguella from SW. to the NE., it reached the capital of Lunda whence it went as far as Kasongo, Alto Congo. From 1851 to 1866, Federico Welwitsch, eminent Austrian botanist, on behalf of the Portuguese government, studied the flora of the region. The crossing from São Filipe de Benguella to Capo Delgado (Mozambique) was made again, from 1853 to 1857, by Silva Porto, who, pushing into the Cassai basin and into the country of the Barotse, preceded the great exploration of the Livingstone. Among the travels of this period should be remembered: that of the Hungarian Ladislao Magyar in Benguella, that of Costa Leal, who traveled along the Cunene up to its cataracts, that of Monteiro, who explored the whole Loanda in 1859, then in 1866 he went up the Cuango. The voyages of the English lieutenant L. Cameron, who in 1875 and 1876 crossed the Casongo, the Baluba, the Lunda and succeeded in Benguella are remarkable, inspired by the political concept of securing the vast regions of central Africa to England. In those years, other explorations carried out by the Portuguese officers Capello and Ivens, with one of the greatest explorers, the major Serpa Pinto, who, from November 1877 to February 1879, made another crossing of Africa, from Benguella to Bihé and Lealui , along the course of the Zambezi, then for Pretoria to the Delagoa bay (Mozambique); his plan was to extend the dominion of Portugal from Angola to Mozambique. From 1884 to 1887 an expedition took place in the kingdom of Muata Yanvo, led by Major Enrico Diaz de Carvalho; she concluded numerous treaties with indigenous leaders and founded numerous farms in Loanda and Lunda. In those years Portugal undertook the construction of two railways, one from Loanda to E., the other from Beira (Mozambique) to the West. This facilitated the numerous explorations that were undertaken to carry out the Serpa Pinto project, but in 1887 the England secured, between the two Portuguese possessions, that territory which had the name of Rhodesia and which has now separated Angola from Mozambique for ever.

Population. – The natural subdivisions, which correspond roughly to those of the ancient indigenous states, are the following: a) Northern Angola, from the Congo to the parallel of Loanda: flat areas predominate, reliefs of medium altitude (no higher than 1200 m.), vast agricultural areas; it includes Lunda to the east and Loanda to the west; b) Central Angola: the desert plateau dominates here, dominated by granite domes, with high altitudes up to over 2600 m; the exceptions are the plateaus of Bihé and Moxico, irrigated, fertile, with a temperate climate; it includes all of Benguella; c) Southern Angola: the plateau still predominates, with more restricted areas that offer agricultural possibilities, separated by sandy stretches; includes Mossamedes.

According to trackaah, the population of Angola is estimated to vary from 4 to 12 million residents. The most commonly accepted figure is, moreover, that of 4,120,000 residents, Almost all Negro fetishists. The foreign population is very mixed: according to a calculation made in 1925, it included about 32,000 Europeans, of which 2000 were officials, soldiers and deportees; of nationality other than Portuguese there are numerous Germans and English; the Italians, at the end of 1925, were 26. The Boers, who settled in entire families in 1875, number a few thousand, and have their farms especially in the upper Cunene. There is an undetermined number of mestizos, both Brazilian and Indo-Portuguese from Goa, and born from the crossing of Europeans with indigenous women. Among the Europeans, the Germans show a lot of activity; they are numerous especially in Loanda, where they dominate the commercial market. There was no lack of an attempt at Jewish colonization in 1911.

The colony of Angola has Losaca as its capital, and is divided into 14 districts: Loanda, Benguella, Bihé, Congo, Cuanza Norte, Cuanza Sul, Cubango, Huilla, Lunda, Malange, Mossamedes, Moxico, Luchazes and Zaire, which also includes the Cabinda territory.

Ethnology. – Most of the Angolese tribes belong to the Bantu group, but there are still, in the southern area of ​​the province, some lower populations that are part of the Bushmen group, formerly certainly more widespread and later replaced by the Bantu invaders who came from the north.

The “no. of the colony, between Zaire and Cuanza, is now inhabited by the Mussurongo, the Mushicongo, the Muzombo, the N’gola, the Dembo, the Maungo or Jaca, and the Gingà, to whom a Congolese origin is generally attributed. The Lunda region, in the NE., Is populated by Bangalas and by peoples already united once more to the kingdom of Muata-Yanvo: Lunda, Quioco (which have a considerable dispersion area towards the center of the colony), Maxinge, Luena, Holo, Bondo, Massongo and Minungo. The territory to S. and to O. del Cuanza, up to S. di Benguella, is occupied by the Kissama, Libolo, Amboin and Binbundo tribes (Caconda, Andulo, Bieno, Bailundo, Huambo, Ganda, Sele, Mossumbe, Quilenghe, Mondombe, etc.). The SO. it is inhabited by the Vahimba, the Vanyaneka, the Humbe, etc. The center-south is inhabited by the Banctuba (Evale, Cuanhama, Cuamato). The Ganguela (Banhema, Ambuela, Mambunda, Luciase, Luimbe), the Cuangare and the Mucusso inhabit the SE. The Bushman tribes are found near the coast, in S. di Benguella (Bacuando, Bacuisso, Bacoroca and Bacuba), or nomadic in the Cunene and Cubango basins (Camassequere or Bacassequere). From the somatological point of view, with the exception of the Bushman tribes, there are types that are nothing but Bantu variations, that is, attenuated black types. Attenuation is especially noticeable in Luena, Quioco, etc. The Luimbe, neighbors of the latter, would be more Negritic. The Luciase and the Ambuela-Mambunda have Zulu affinities; the Vahimba would have undergone Bushman mixes. The color of Angolese Negroes varies from bronze brown to chocolate black and very dark black. Height is generally above average, and there are several tribes of high stature (Binbundo and Ganguela, in part, the Canguare, some tribes of the NO.). The Bantu languages ​​are mainly kikongo and kimbundo, in N., n’bundu in the central-western region, in S. lo onyaneka and herero, in the SE. the canguela; the Mucussu del S. speak Barotsé. The Bushman tribes of the province have their own special language with characteristics clicks. Negroes do agriculture, and are good blacksmiths. Kinship is generally established by maternal line. The Bushmen live by gathering and hunting in the bush, and also use shelters under rocks for their home. They lead a miserable and precarious existence, in constant fear of the most advanced peoples.

Angola Exploration, Population, and Ethnology