The true, historic story of two Angolans forced into slavery… Now on the Angola Field Group’s YouTube channel, Nbena, a local Benguelan farmer who on her way to the market, stopped to help an old slave woman working on an Angolan plantation. Nbena finds herself tricked into replacing the woman and becomes the new slave of the plantation owner. This is a story where the tables are turned – the plantation owner/slaver is a black Angolan and the local authority trying to free Nbena is a white Portuguese.

This is part one of a four part video filmed during the Angola Field Group Presentation on November 29, 2012, presented by Dr. José C. Curto, the author of Enslaving Spirits: The Portuguese‑Brazilian Alcohol Trade at Luanda and its Hinterland, c. 1550‑1830. He is presently Associate Professor of History at York University in Toronto, where he is also Deputy-Director of the Harriet Tubman Resource Center on the African Diaspora. Click here to view the November 29th post for more details about the presentation.

Dr. Curto also shared the life story of José Manuel, an overview of which you will hear in part one, however only the story of Nbena was filmed. Watch all four videos on our YouTube channel:

The following are the images shown during Dr. Curto’s presentation. Click image to enlarge. Images credit: José C. Curto, “José Manuel and Nbena in Benguela in the late 1810s: Encounters with Enslavement”, in Dennis Cordell, ed., The Human Tradition in Africa. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2011, pp. 13-30.

Map, 'Reinos'.

17th century map of the Kingdoms of Angola and Benguela.


Benguela c. 1860.

Fortaleza de Benguela c. 1796

Fortaleza de Benguela c. 1796