Kinkanga

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The Kinkanga, usually known as the Kinkanga a Mvika or House of Nsundi, was a royal kanda formed by King Pedro II, which ruled the Kingdom of Kongo from 1622 to 1631. While King Pedro II (ruled 1622-24) and his son Garcia I (ruled 1624-1626) were the only other member of the faction or kanda to rule, it retained powerful members in provincial offices in the 1650s up until its destruction in the 1670s. Despite this loss in prominence, they were remembered in tradition and are evoked in a proverb, still current in the 1920s Nkutama a mvila za makanda "Kinlaza, Kimpanzu ye Kinlaza makukwa matatu malambila Kongo" (Kinkanga, Kimpanzu and Kinlaza are the three stones on which Kongo cooked)

The compromise candidate[edit]

Since 1567, the House of Kwilu had ruled Kongo. When its king, Álvaro III, died in 1622, he had no heir old enough to assume the throne. The electors decided to grant the throne to Pedro II Nkanga a Mvika, the Duke of Mbamba. In Portuguese documents, the ruling house of King Pedro II is called Nsundi for the duchy the founding king's father ruled. The line of kings from the House of Kwilu virtually ended overnight (Ambrósio I being the lone exception from 1626 to 1631).

Split with Portugal[edit]

The ascension of the House of Nsundi meant the end of what had become a tenuous relationship between Kongo and Portugal. The once close allies had fallen out over slaving and trade rights toward the end of the 16th century. The ambitious governor of the Portuguese colony in Luanda claimed that the king had given asylum to runaway slaves while Duke of Mbamba. Furthermore, he also claimed the right to appoint kings of Kongo. This led to a Portuguese invasion of Kongo the very year of King Pedro II's rise. The gross miscalculation of the Portuguese resulted in the king leading a force which crushed the invasion at the Battle of Mbandi Kasi.

Diplomacy with the Dutch[edit]

After the disastrous war, the Portuguese sought peace with the House of Nsundi and calm was restored for a little while. Meanwhile, Pedro II harbored plans to remove the Portuguese from his region altogether and sought Dutch assistance to this aim. It would be up to another ruling house; however, to see these plans through.

Garcia I[edit]

Garcia I succeeded his father as head of the house in 1624, but when he was overthrown by Manuel Jordão, the Duke of Nsundi in 1626, he fled to Soyo. There he was protected by the Count Paulo of Soyo for many years, as he had been appointed by Pedro II. As a result Soyo formed a close bond with the house. A number of other appointees by Pedro II or Garcia remained in their offices even as other houses ruled Kongo. In 1656, members of the house that held office in São Salvador and the Marquis of Mpemba tried to overthrow Garcia II, and were defeated and the kanda was destroyed as a separate entity in 1678.

See also[edit]