​Massangano village with the church perched on the hill. When Livingstone visited in 1852 he said the place was in a state of decay and contained little more than a thousand inhabitants. Today there appear to be even less.

​Massangano village with the church perched on the hill. When Livingstone visited in 1852 he said the place was in a state of decay and contained little more than a thousand inhabitants. Today there appear to be even less.

UPDATE: THIS TRIP IS NOW FULL. Sunday March 29, the Angola Field Group will visit Massangano, the site of one of Angola’s oldest forts, built in 1582 to use as a way station for slaves being traded from Kwanza Norte. During Holland’s brief occupation of the seat of government of Angola, from 1641 to 1648, the Portuguese took refuge in the fort. The Massangano fort is located on the banks of the Kwanza River 20 km east of Dondo. A stone’s throw from the fort is the restored Church of Nossa Senhora da Victoria. On our return home we will visit the remains of Novo Oeiras, the iron foundry on the Lucala River which was erected in 1768 by the Portuguese government. They brought in experienced Swedish miners who unfortunately quickly succumbed to the oppressive climate of the low lying area. Today the foundry is an Angolan heritage site. Trip Details:         -We will leave the city at 6:30 AM prompt and plan to be back in the city limits by 6pm.         -4 wheel drive recommended, full tank of gas, no fuel stops will be made.         -Take food and liquids for the whole day. No food stops.         -Meeting point and further details will be provided once you have signed up and are confirmed for the trip. We accept a limited number of participants. Field trips are open to Angola Field Group members. There is no fee.         -Sign up by emailing: angolafieldgroup@gmail.com and state: 1)your cell phone number   2)names of all participants  3)whether you require transport or not 4)whether you have room for passenger/s and if so how many extras can you take?  5)whether you are traveling from Luanda Sul or downtown Luanda. All Angola Field Group trips are at your own risk. There is a provincial border crossing so you must carry valid, original up-to-date documents with you.

​Almost 450 years old, the small but sturdy Massangano Fort looks out over the Kwanza River. It still contains some ancient guns.

Almost 450 years old, the small but sturdy Massangano Fort looks out over the Kwanza River. It still contains some ancient guns.

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.

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

The ‘middle passage’ was the slave trade route from Africa to the New World. The biggest proportion of slaves ended up in the Caribbean, approximately 42%. Around 38% went to Brazil, and about 5%, went to North America.

Save the date for our next Angola Field Group Presentation on November 29, 2012 starting at 8pm at the Viking Club: “Fighting against Enslavement: José Manuel and Nbena in Benguela, 1816-1818”

The presentation will be about the struggles of two individuals struggling against enslavement in the second half of the 1810s in Benguela. In the process, issues such as who could and who could not be enslaved in Angola and forced to undergo the Middle Passage to Brazil are addressed. The tales of José Manuel and Nbena show that the new colonial order established by the Portuguese in this part of Africa took form in a broader context of extreme violence and disorder occasioned by the continued capture, sale, and export of slaves. Here, the “order and civility” underpinning colonial society were subject to violation at any time, as much if not more so by others of African descent seeking gain, as by the colonial authorities themselves.

Our presenter José C. Curto is the author of Enslaving Spirits: The Portuguese‑Brazilian Alcohol Trade at Luanda and its Hinterland, c. 1550‑1830 (Leiden and Boston: Brill Academic Publishers, 2004). A longer version of this major study appeared earlier in Portuguese:Álcool e Escravos: O comércio luso-brasileiro do álcool em Mpinda, Luanda e Benguela durante o tráfico atlântico de escravos (c. 1480‑1830) e o seu impacto nas sociedades da África Central Ocidental (Lisbon: Editora Vulgata, 2002). Curto has co-edited two collections of essays, including Africa and the Americas: Interconnections during the Slave Trade, with Renée Soulodre-La France (Trenton, New Jersey: Africa World Press, 2005), and another with his colleague Paul E. Lovejoy, Enslaving Connections: Changing Cultures of Africa and Brazil during the Era of Slavery (Amherst, New York: Humanity Books, 2004). His articles in the Portuguese Studies Review (2002), African Economic History (2001, with Raymond Gervais), Africana Studia, the International Journal of African Historical Studies, and Annales de démographie historique have made important contributions to our knowledge of the historical demography of Lusophone Africa. José C. Curto received his Ph.D. in African History from the University of California at Los Angeles. He is presently Associate Professor of History at York University, where he is also Deputy-Director of the Harriet Tubman Resource Center on the African Diaspora.

Everybody is welcome to attend. The talk will be in English. 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.  For sale, traditional baskets hand woven and organic wild honey from Moxico, Angola natural medicine books and posters, a new children’s color illustrated storybook and a book about the Cuvalei Basin in southern Angola.

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.

 

The palatial home of Angola’s famous slave trader Dona Ana Joaquina, 1788 to 1859. At the time it was one of the largest houses in Luanda and today Luanda’s provincial courthouse stands on the site of Joaquina’s ‘palacio’. Scroll down to the next page and read the October 1 blog post to see what the building looks like today or click here: https://angolafieldgroup.com/2010/10/01/thursday-october-14-presentation-mulatta-slave-trader-dona-anna-joaquina.

Guest presenter Lynne Duke (photo by J. Kornfeld).

A huge crowd attended the October Angola Field Group presentation with guest presenter American author, Lynne Duke, who was in Angola researching the subject for her upcoming book on the notorious female slave trader Anna Joaquina dos Santos e Silva, who lived from Nov. 1788 to  June 16, 1859.  When slavery was banned, Anna Joaquina was one of many who continued to trade slaves even though it was against the law.

As we learned from Ms. Duke’s presentation, in the west-central African region centered on Angola, the legal slave trade lasted from the 15th century till 1836. Then in 1836, pursuant to a treaty with Britain, the Portuguese outlawed slave exports from Luanda, sparking an illegal trade that exploded and raged on for nearly three more decades. The website she quoted in her talk is: slavevoyages.org

In the total trade, that is both legal and illegal, of 12.5 million Africans shipped across the Atlantic, 5 million were from west-central Africa. The average death rate per voyage was 13 percent, in the total trade. This does not include the number of slaves who died on the caravan trails as they were being led to the coast from the interior, nor the number who died in the barracoons, slave shacks where the captured natives were held before being shipped off, a not unfamiliar sight in Luanda.

In Angola the Portuguese continued a system of forced labor akin to slavery well into the 1900’s under the euphemism of contract labor.

The slave museum outside of Luanda was built 1787, in the time of legal slavery (photo by Robin Koning).

 

Angola’s famed mulatta slave trader back in the 19th century, Dona Anna Joaquina, will be the topic of the Angola Field Group’s presentation Thursday, October 14 at 8:00 PM at the Viking Club. Our guest speaker, American author Lynne Duke, will present some key findings she uncovered about the life of Anna Joaquina dos Santos Silva and the difficult global archival search that has allowed her to coax this notorious figure out of history’s shadows. She will also talk about the slave trade from Angola to the Americas and mainland Europe, especially the logistics of the trade from Luanda, Ambriz, Cabinda and elsewhere.

Lynne Duke is writing a book on the slaving life of D. Anna Joaquina, provisionally entitled “The Baroness,” to be published in 2012. (Anna Joaquina often was referred to as the Baroness of Bungo.)  Ms. Duke spent nearly 21 years as a writer for The Washington Post, including four years (1995-1999) as the newspaper’s Johannesburg bureau chief. She traveled frequently to Angola, as well as Zaire/D.R. Congo, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, and elsewhere. Her first book was Mandela, Mobutu and Me: A Newswoman’s African Journey (Doubleday, 2003). She retired from the newspaper in 2008. Read more at http://lynneduke.com.

Everybody is welcome to attend the presentation above. In close cooperation with the Viking Club, this event is offered free of charge. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and snacks are sold at the bar, coupons must be purchased. The Viking Bar opens at 7:30 PM!

For sale, hand woven baskets and different sizes of home made corn cob dolls from the province of Moxico. And Huambo dolls are finally back!

If you would like to have a map showing the location of the Viking Club, click here. The Viking Club is on the main floor of the former Swedish Building at Rua Marien N”Guabi, No 118 in Maianga, across the street from the new Panela de Barra restaurant.