Kongo dia Nlaza

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For other uses, see Congo (disambiguation).

Kongo dia Nlaza was a little-known kingdom that existed to the east of the Kingdom of Kongo and was absorbed into Kongo in the late sixteenth century.

The kingdom is first mentioned among the titles of king Álvaro I of Kongo in the 1580s as the "Seven Kingdoms of Congo Riamulaza". Presumably it was some sort of confederation of smaller entities that had existed in the area for some time. The area was renowned for the production of rafia textiles and palm cloth.

Seventeenth-century sources mention "Momboares" as the center for textile production, and statistical information from the Portuguese colony of Angola put its exports to that region alone as over 100,000 meters of cloth annually. The trade in cloth with this district was one of the largest trades for the Portuguese colony, and the cloth was used to pay its African troops.

Momboares can be analyzed as follows: Mu (class prefix for persons) bwadi (seven), Lusitanized and pluralized according to Portuguese rules. It is thus "the people of the seven [kingdoms of Congo Riamulaza].

When Kongo took over Kongo dia Nlaza it was integrated into the province of Mbata which led the expansion eastward.


Graziano Saccardo, Congo e Angola con la storia del antica missione dei cappuccini, (3 vols, Milan, 1982-83)