Emanuele Ne Vunda

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Painting of Emanuele Ne Vunda, Sala dei Corazzieri, Palazzo del Quirinale, Rome, 1615-1616.

Antonio Emanuele Ne Vunda (died 1608), also Antonio Manuel Nsaku ne Vunda (or Vunta or Funda) was an ambassador from the West African Kingdom of Kongo to the Vatican, sent by the king of Kongo Alvaro II to Pope Paul V in 1604–1608.[1] Ne Vunda traveled through Brazil and Spain and only reached Rome on 3 January 1608, but he died two days later of illness.

Emanuele (in Portuguese, Manuel) Ne Vunda is nowadays considered to have been the first African ambassador to Europe in history.[2]

A 1608–1609 bust of Ne-Vunda made in colored marble can be seen at Santa Maria Maggiore, by Francesco Caporale.[3]

A painting of Emanuele Ne Vunda is visible in the Sala dei Corazzieri, Palazzo del Quirinale in Rome, next to a painting depicting the 1615 embassy of Hasekura Tsunenaga from Japan.


  1. ^ Lowe, p.112
  2. ^ Farisato, Letizia. "Nsaku Ne Vunda - Malaki ma Kongo". Retrieved 2015-06-14. 
  3. ^ University of Minnesota


  • Kate Lowe Representing Africa: Ambassadors and Princes from Christian Africa to Renaissance Italy and Portugal 1402-1608 Transactions of the Royal Historic Society 2007