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People, Locations, Episodes

Tue, 12.07.1390

The Kingdom of Kongo is Formed

*The Kingdom of Kongo is celebrated on this date in 1390.

This was a kingdom located in central Africa in present-day northern Angola, the western portion of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of the Congo, as well as the southernmost part of Gabon.

At its greatest extent, it reached from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Kwango River in the east and from the Congo River in the north to the Kwanza River in the south. The kingdom consisted of several core provinces ruled by the Manikongo, the Portuguese version of the Kongo title Mwene Kongo, meaning "lord or ruler of the Kongo kingdom." Still, its sphere of influence extended to neighboring kingdoms, such as Nagoya, Kakongo, Loango, Ndongo, and Matamba, the latter two located in Angola today.

From c. 1390 to 1857, it was mostly an independent state. From 1857 to 1914, it functioned as a vassal state of the Kingdom of Portugal. This resulted from the Berlin Conference and the colonial oppression that followed. In 1914, following the Portuguese suppression of a Kongo revolt, Portugal abolished the titular monarchy. The title of king of Kongo was restored in 1915.

The remaining kingdom territories were assimilated into the colony of Angola and the Protectorate of Cabinda, respectively. The modern-day Bundu dia Kongo sect favors reviving the kingdom through secession from Angola, the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Gabon.

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