Kasanje Kingdom

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The Kasanje Kingdom, also known as the Jaga Kingdom, (1620–1910) was a pre-colonial Central African state. It was formed in 1620 by a mercenary band of Imbangala, which had deserted the Portuguese ranks. The state gets its name from the leader of the band, Kasanje, who settled his followers on the upper Kwango River. The Kasanje people were ruled by the Jaga, a king who was elected from among the three clans who founded the kingdom.[1]

In 1680 the Portuguese traveller António de Oliveira de Cadornega estimated the kingdom had 300,000 people, of whom 100,000 were able to bear arms. However, it is noted that this claim may be exaggerated.[1] The kingdom of Kasanje remained in a constant state of conflict with its neighbours, especially the kingdom of Matamba then ruled by queen Nzinga Mbande. The Imbangala state became a strong commercial center until being eclipsed by Ovimbundu trade routes in the 1850s. Kasanje was finally incorporated into Portuguese Angola in 1910–1911.


Kasanje is located on the upper Kwango River in what is now Angola.[2]


  1. ^ a b Fage, J. D.; Oliver, Roland (1975). The Cambridge History of Africa: From c. 1600 to c. 1790. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 355. ISBN 0-521-20413-5. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
  2. ^ Kasanje - Britannica Concise

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