Ndongo Kingdom

Ndongo Kingdom (c. 1450-1671) was an Mbundu kingdom located in Angola, along the Kwanza River. The kingdom was ruled by
the ngola. It was a vassal of the Kongo Empire. In 1556, it broke away from Kongo. Kabasa was the capital. Many slaves were exported to the New World, especially Brazil, from the ports of 
Luanda established in 1576 and Benguela established in 1587.

Ndongo initially was involved in farming and the long distance salt trade. With the arrival of the Portuguese, by the 1550s, it became active in the slave trade. In 1576, the Portuguese attempted an invasion, to feed its lust for slaves and to exploit reported silver deposit. They met aggressive 

opposition. Their army over time diminished and the remaining troops resorted to slave trading. The Portuguese organized gangs kidnapping anyone they found.  Ndongo's population was decimated over time and the kingdom in ruins by 1668. Queen Anna Nzinga moved to the interior and founded the Matamba Kingdom.

Political Organization and Administration

Timeline of Ndongo Kingdom

500   iron using population settles along Kwanza R.
1500 Ndongo Kingdom formed
1520 Ngola sends representative to Portuguese court
1526 Portuguese forced out of Kabasa the capital
1550 Ndongo becomes a major power in the region
1560 Portuguese re-establish relations with the Kingdom
1579 Portuguese massacred and expelled again from the kingdom
1589 Portuguese allied with Kongo attacks Ndongo, was defeated
1617 Portugues with Imbangala mercenary attacks Ndongo, hurling                   
         the kingdom into chaos
1620 Ngola Mbandi flees to island on Kwanza R., most of the
         population of Kabasa diminished, many shipped to Brazil

Ndongo was ruled by the ngola. The ngola was chosen from the line of Ngola Kiluanje, elected by administrators (tendala, ngolambole) , or elected by sobas. The ngola resided in the capital next to the province he controlled. Traveling administrators in the provinces help retain political cohesion. The administrators were tendala and ngolamboe. Tendala dealt with issues  concerning administration and judicial matters. Ngolambole dealt with military matters.

The Kingdom was comprised of provinces, divided into sub-regions controlled by sobas.



Works Cited

Shillington, Kevin (2005). History of Africa. Revised 2nd ed. New York: Palgrave Macmillan,pp 198-199. ISBN 0-333-59957-8

Davidson, BasilAfrica History, Themes and Outlines, revised and expanded edition. New York: Simon and Schuster, p. 158, ISBN 0-684-82667-4.