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Ngounié Province in Gabon
|• Total||37,750 km2 (14,580 sq mi)|
|• Density||2.7/km2 (7.0/sq mi)|
The province is named after the river Ngounié , which crosses with its many tributaries. It was in December 1858 that the French explorer Paul Chaillu reaches by Ngounie up to Fougamou . He discovers the different local population he described during his second voyage. Catholic missions will subsequently erected in the province, Mandji, Sindara and St. Martin whose architecture attracts many tourists .
Located in the south of Gabon, its relief is characterized by large forest plains that separate the crystalline massif of Chaillu Ikoundou Range Mountains. Steep massifs, plains, thick forests, savannahs, rivers and lakes, cliffs, deep caves and vast agricultural areas shape a landscape dotted with hamlets and villages.
Estimated at 101,415 inhabitants, the population of the Ngounié includes a significant ethnic diversity consisting of Eshira, Apindji, Punu, Mitsogo, Nzebi, Massango, Vungu and Éviya, arrived by successive waves of migration, living in harmony since several centuries. All ethnic groups Ngounié belong to the group Bantu .
The ethnic distribution of the province is as follows:
Ethnic group Number of inhabitants Punu - Eshira 35260 Nzebi - Dyma 22260 Okandé - Tsogho 11815 Kota - Kélé 2435 The traditional social and religious organization is still very present in the daily life of the province, especially the cults of Bwiti and Ndjembé (female secret society).
Legends and myths
Popular legends say that the province of Ngounié is protected by several genies. Thus the sirens Ipeti and Mougoumi, female genies living in Dola and Ngounié respectively, would be the protectors of Ndendé and Mouila. Tsamba, a male genie, and Magotsi, a female genie, would be the protectors of Fougamou, which they watch over from the top of the Empress Eugenie Falls. These genies are the symbolic protectors of the departments of the province. They inspire fear and respect from the inhabitants, who honor the genies by throwing coins and pouring liquor into the rivers they cross.
- Nyanga - south
- Ogooué-Maritime - west
- Moyen-Ogooué - north
- Ogooué-Ivindo - northeast, at a quadripoint
- Ogooué-Lolo - east
Ngounié is divided into 9 departments:
- Boumi-Louetsi Department (Mbigou)
- Dola Department (Ndendé)
- Douya-Onoy Department (Mouila)
- Louetsi-Wano Department (Lebamba)
- Ndolou Department (Mandji)
- Ogoulou Department (Mimongo)
- Tsamba-Magotsi Department (Fougamou)
- Louetsi-Bibaka Department (Malinga)
- Mougalaba Department (Guietsou)
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