Ana Nzinga: Queen of Ndongo
Through the European power struggle for control of the African slave trade, the Portuguese colonized parts of Africa including the area of modern day Angola. The Dutch established an axis to operate their slave trade to Brazil for almost 300 years in Luanda ("Luanda", par. 4). In the 17th century, the Portuguese foothold was steadily increasing pushing more and more African rulers to their limits. Ann Nzinga Mbande, Queen of Ndongo and Matamba, was among these royals. She was one ruler who found a way to rise above where others had failed. Born around 1583, Nzinga Mbande was one of four children. The Mbande family ruled over the Ndongo, a kingdom in current day Angola ("Nzinga of Ndongo and Matamba.", par.2). When her father was depose her brother took his place and banished Ana Nzinga. It was not until he needed aid to drive out the Portuguese that he called his sister to his side (Triften, par.1). She went to Luanda to negotiate a treaty, which would have the Portuguese return the natives they captured and withdrawal from Ambaca. While there, they only provided her a mat to sit on the floor. Rather than have them belittle her, she instead sat on the back of one of her servants. To obtain a favorable outcome of the treaty she also converted to Christianity. However, the treaty was agreed upon but never enacted ("Nzinga of Ndongo and Matamba.", par.3-4). Some sources state her brother was inconsolable over the loss of much of his kingdom and committed suicide ("Nzinga of Ndongo and Matamba.", par. 5) while others state Ana Nzinga poisoned him (Triften, par.4) either way her brother died in 1624 leaving his young son head of what was left of the kingdom. It was rumored Ana Nzinga killed her nephew and then took his place as Queen of Ndongo ("Nzinga of Ndongo and Matamba.", par. 5). From 1624 to 1629 Queen Nzinga was unable to come to terms with the Portuguese and was forced from Ndongo several times to regroup in Matamba where she...
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