By popular request the Angola Field Group is showing the sequel to the documentary film that we screened last month, A Trip Down Memory Lane, a nostalgic look-back at Angola during colonial times, on Thursday, October 31 at 8:00 PM at the Viking Club. The second film moves to the provinces showing car races in Lubango, cotton farming in Malange, coffee fazendas in Uige, etc… Narration is in Portuguese with a sound track featuring Raul Endipwo. We will have a brief discussion afterwards.  

Everybody is welcome to attend. In close cooperation with the Viking Club, this event is offered free of charge. Beverages and snacks are sold at the Viking Bar which opens at 7:30 PM. Coupons must be purchased. You can download a map showing the location of the Viking Club on our website here. The Viking Club is on the main floor of Edificio Maianga, Rua Marien Nguabi, No 118 in Maianga, across the street from the Panela de Barra restaurant.

For sale at the presentation: Just received, a batch of organic natural honey from the Mutti Farm in Moxico. Small and large handwoven baskets from the Zambezi Women´s Cooperative and also books about Angola.

Luanda's new marginal, construction completed August 2012. Photo

Luanda’s new marginal, construction completed August 2012. Photo courtesy Herman Calis.

The marginal during colonial times. Photo courtesy alvarescabral69-71.blogspot.ca

The marginal during colonial times. Photo credit http://alvarescabral69-71.blogspot.ca

Angola has notched up 12 years of post war reconstruction. Ever wonder what Luanda and Angola were like pre-war?  Back by popular demand, the Angola Field Group invites you to the film A Trip Down Memory Lane with introduction and commentary by Denis Sanche and Kelse Alexandre, members of the Angola Field Group team, on Thursday, September 26 at 8:00 PM at the Viking Club. The film is a nostalgic look back at Angola during colonial times: Bull fights in Luanda… Cotton mills and coffee roasteries…Herds of elephant and buffalo in Quicama Park… Narration is in Portuguese with a sound track featuring a well known Angolan singer of the ‘70s, Raúl Endipwo.

Everybody is welcome to attend.  In close cooperation with the Viking Club, this event is offered free of charge. Beverages and snacks are sold at the Viking Bar which opens at 7:30 PM. Coupons must be purchased.
You can download a map showing the location of the Viking Club on our Join Us page. The Viking Club is on the main floor of Edificio Maianga,  Rua Marien Nguabi, No 118 in Maianga, across the street from the Panela de Barra restaurant.

Road from Libolo to Luandos.

Road from Libolo to Luandos.

Spend a weekend in a traditional African Village – September 13, 14, 15. For the past ten years the Angola Field Group has been invited to Festas Populares dos Luandos which takes place in a village located outside the southeast corner of Quicama National Park. It is an annual homecoming for villagers who have migrated to the city. You will celebrate their culture with dance, theatre and other activities. Participants will meet in Catete on Friday at 7:30AM. To get to the village one must continue on the main road southeast to Dondo, about 180 km, and then 30 km south of Dondo at Libolo one must head west and drive off-road for about 60 km. Four-wheel drive vehicle necessary. Estimated arrival time at Luandos is 4:00PM, in time to be welcomed officially with a palm wine ceremony. Saturday morning there is a collective wedding that participants are invited to attend and throughout the day there will be cultural activities.

Experience life in a traditional African village. Photo courtesy Rolly Villanueva.     Experience life in a traditional African village. Photo courtesy Rolly Villanueva.

Experience life in a traditional African village. Photo courtesy Rolly Villanueva.

Fee for participation is 150usd/person for the whole weekend. This includes dinner on Friday, breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Saturday, and breakfast on Sunday. All local foods are prepared by the Woman’s Cooperative. It also includes accommodation which may be either in a local family’s house, or at Ganga Lodge (still in construction but some parts are finished), or the use of the camp ground for those who have their own tent. There are a few tents available. Whether you camp or stay in a home, the price is the same. Accommodation includes fresh water for bathing. Take your own bedding and mosquito net and extra liquids although water is provided with meals plus 1.5 litre bottle per day. Take lunch and snacks for Friday and for your return trip.

Women's cooperative joins forces to prepare local dishes such as the local kubulu bean dish 4. Baobob trees used to serve as water reservoirs, their location kept secret from other tribes

Women’s cooperative joins forces to prepare local dishes such as the local kubulu bean dish.

Depart for Luanda Sunday, 15th September, after breakfast. To sign up for this trip or if you have further questions, please email Serafim Quintino at: serafimquintino@yahoo.com or phone him at 917-823464.

Baobob trees used to serve as water reservoirs, their location kept secret from other tribes.

Baobob trees used to serve as water reservoirs, their location kept secret from other tribes.

This trip is not organized by the Angola Field Group but it comes highly recommended by previous members who participated.

Feared by the Portuguese who claimed they were headhunters, the Quicama people revered their hunters and buried them on hilltops.

Feared by the Portuguese who claimed they were headhunters, the Quicama people revered their hunters and buried them on hilltops.

Train station at Catete, one of the historic towns on the way to Dondo

Train station at Catete, one of the historic towns on the way to Dondo

UPDATE: THIS TRIP IS NOW FULL. On Saturday August 03 the Angola Field Group will embark on a train trip to Dondo. We will meet at a downtown meeting point at 0630 (details when you are confirmed for the trip) and will return to Luanda at 1700. There will be a historic walking tour for 2.5 hours on foot, of Dondo, Kwanza Norte with historian Eleuterio Freire

We will be traveling in second class carriage and enroute to Dondo will receive historic information about the areas we are traveling through. You must pack all your food and beverages since we will not be going to a restaurant in Dondo and there is not a snack bar on this train. All our time there will be spent on a walking tour of the town.
Train cost = 1000 Kwanzas round trip per person
Guide fee = 2000 kwanzas per person

Please note that this field trip is for people who are interested in learning about the history of this area. Priority is given to members of the Angola Field Group. Limited space so please only sign up if you seriously intend to go. To sign up send an email to angolafieldgroup@gmail.com giving your name and cell phone number. Further details will be emailed when you are confirmed for the trip. All Angola Field Trips are at your own risk.


Remains of the historic Casa dos Bentos

Remains of the historic Casa dos Bentos

 

unita
Cuban pilot Colonel Manuel Rojas Garcia, who was the head of the Cuban air force in Angola in 1986 when he was shot down on a reconnaissance mission, spoke to a crowd of over 200 participants last week at the Angola Field Group. We were honored to have in the audience General Hanga, Chief of the Angola Air Force, and General Santos, who was chief of the Air Force in Cuando Cubango during the war.

Some copies of Colonel Rojas´s book, Prisoners of UNITA, will be on sale at the next presentation. Click here to download a PDF with images and informational captions shown during the presentation.

Prisoners of war. Colonel Manuel Rojas Garcia, centre, Captain Ramón Aguilar, right.

Prisoners of war. Colonel Manuel Rojas Garcia, centre, Captain Ramón Aguilar, right.

It was October 28, 1987. Cuban air force Colonel Manuel Rojas Garcia was flying his MIG over Angola’s Moxico province with Captain Aguilar next to him when they were shot down by UNITA. The two Cubans were captured alive and taken to Jamba, the UNITA headquarters cleverly camouflaged inside Cuando Cubango province… The Angola Field Group invites you to hear Colonel Garcia tell his story of life as a prisoner of UNITA and his perceptions of the war, Thursday, July 18, at 8:00 PM, at the Viking Club. The book he wrote about this episode of his life was published last year, ‘Prisioneiros da UNITA nas Terras do Fim do Mundo’ and is now in its second edition. He will be selling and autographing his book.

Manuel Rojas Garcia joined the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba in 1959 and learned to fly fighter planes in China and the Soviet Union. In 1971 he graduated in Political Science from Havana University and in 1976 he got his law degree. In 1982 he mastered in Military Sciences at the Moscow Academy of Aviation. In addition to Angola, he fought in Ethiopia in 1977. Presently he serves in the reserve unit of the Cuban Armed Forces.

Everybody is welcome to attend the presentation which will be in Portuguese with simultaneous translation into English. In close cooperation with the Viking Club, this event is offered free of charge. Beverages and snacks are sold at the bar, coupons must be purchased. The Viking Bar opens at 7:30 PM. The Viking Club is on the main floor of the Edificio Maianga, Rua Marien N”Guabi, No 118 across from Panela da Barro, on the same side of the street as the Suite Hotel. For a map, click here.

View of Luanda from the Forteleza, looking west toward downtown, taken about 65 years ago. 

View of Luanda from the Forteleza, looking west toward downtown, taken about 65 years ago

UPDATE: THIS TRIP IS NOW FULL. The city of Luanda is one of the oldest cities in Africa, having been founded in 1575. The Angola Field Group is organizing an ‘Historic Walking Tour of Downtown Luanda‘ on Sunday, June 23, 9:00 AM with Eleutério Freire, an Angolan history buff, retired from Civil Service, who served 9 years as President of the International Committee on Monuments and Sites in Angola. He is basing his tour on historic evidence that Luanda is a town born because of the Atlantic slave trade which continued to the end of the 19th century when international pressure forced it to stop. The next significant growth of the city was based on the coffee industry after World War II and now oil is the driving force behind Luanda’s expansion.

Hotel Globo, taken around 1952, still exists today about a block east of the Epic Sana Hotel.

Hotel Globo, taken around 1952, still exists today about a block east of the Epic Sana Hotel

This is a walking tour approximately 3 hours long. Open to members of the Angola Field Group. Limited space so please only sign up if you seriously intend to go. 1000 kwanzas each to cover guiding fees. To sign up send an email to angolafieldgroup@gmail.com giving your name and phone number.

Further details will be emailed when you are confirmed for the trip. All Angola Field Trips are at your own risk.

The downtown stationery shop Lello is a Luanda landmark today.

The downtown stationery shop Lello is a Luanda landmark today. Photos from the book “Luanda, Cidade Portuguesa Fundada por Paulo Dias de Novais” by Rui Pires.

Lynne Duke, journalist and author, July 29, 1956 to April 19, 2013 (photo taken at the Angola Field Group).

Lynne Duke, journalist and author, July 29, 1956 to April 19, 2013 (photo taken at the Angola Field Group).

It is with sadness that we acknowledge the death of American journalist and author Lynne Duke who passed away at her home April 19, 2013. In October 2010 we were graced with her presence at an Angola Field Group presentation which she gave on the slaving life of Dona Anna Joaquina, Angola’s most famous slave trader, about whom she was writing a book.  Lynne had only one small map as a visual during her presentation, but she kept the audience of over 200 people enthralled for 45 minutes to the point where, uncharacteristically, not one person got up from their seat to buy a beer. Lynne was obviously very engaged with her subject and the audience learned a lot about contraband slavery in Angola.  While she was here, she spent days  in the dusty national archives researching this notorious figure and travelled deep into the ‘denbos’ trying to uncover  more historical evidence.. It is our hope that all the work Lynne put into researching and writing her book will not be in vain. We in Angola have been waiting for her book since she told us the story and hopefully the publisher can get it to press. We want Lynne Dukes’ spirit to live on through the pages she spent precious days and weeks and months of her too-short life writing. Our sympathies go out to her husband and family.

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: www.youtube.com/angolafieldgroup.

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.

Benguela c. 1860.

Fortaleza de Benguela c. 1796

Fortaleza de Benguela c. 1796

Outcrops along Barra da Dande.

Outcrops along Barra da Dande.

UPDATE: Please note this trip is now full. On Sunday, January 27, join the Angola Field Group for a geological field trip to Bengo province led by geologist Tako Koning, departing Luanda at 7:00 AM and returning around 5:00 PM. Scroll down for a map with locations.

We will drive north from Luanda to Barra do Dande  to see outcrops consisting of Cretaceous-age fossiliferous, marine sedimentary rocks. These strata are interesting from a paleo-environmental standpoint of view and they are also of economic significance since they are  the cap rocks to the  reservoirs which produce oil in the shallow water areas offshore Soyo and Cabinda.

We will continue for 10 km northeast on the road to the Lifune River where we will examine some historically well known naturally-occurring oil seeps in Libongos, today an asphalt quarry. Records indicate that as early as 1820, the Portuguese shipped out barrels of asphalt probably from the Libongos seeps to Lisbon and Rio de Janeiro to use as calking to prevent leakage of ships. If time allows, we will visit a second asphalt quarry as we loop south to Caxito. The entire area we will be traversing is known as the Kwanza Sedimentary Basin.

Close up photo taken at the Libongos oil seeps.

Close up photo taken at the Libongos oil seeps.


We will then travel south to Caxito to the nearby water falls at Sassa to view ancient (2 billion-year-old) Precambrian granite outcrops and where we will have a late lunch (you pack your own lunch). If time permits, we will visit the nearby Mabubas Hydroelectric Dam, recently rehabilitated.

    Angola Field Group members walking along the Mabubas Dam in Caxito before it was rehabilitated.    Angola Field Group members walking along the Mabubas Dam in Caxito before it was rehabilitated.

Angola Field Group members walking along the Mabubas Dam in Caxito before it was rehabilitated.

This field trip will also stop at Pangila Bridge to review some of the historical events which occurred here including the famous Quifangondo battle of November 10, 1975 which secured MPLA as the reigning party in Luanda, just prior to Angola achieving independence on November 11, 1975.

Our meeting point and further details will be provided once you have signed up and are confirmed for the trip. Sign up by emailing:angolafieldgroup@gmail.com and state: 1)your cell phone number  2)names of participants  3)do you require transport? or do you have room for passenger/s and if so how many?  4) are you travelling from Luanda Sul or downtown Luanda. Foreigners must have passport with valid visa.

All field trips with the Angola Field Group are at your own risk. Sign up as soon as possible since there is a limit to the number of participants we can take.

Click on map to enlarge.

Click on map to enlarge. Map by Tako Koning.