Everything is Subdued by Europe, These are 5 Prosperous Kingdoms in Central Africa

Everything is Subdued by Europe, These are 5 Prosperous Kingdoms in Central Africa

Central Africa is an area on the African continent that is neither so barren nor dominated by deserts. Because there is a very large concentration of grasslands and rainforests, especially in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Uniquely, Central Africa has a very long history starting from the ancient Sao civilization in the 6th century BC which left an important legacy. Furthermore, many influential kingdoms formed the identity of many lands there.

What were the kingdoms of Central Africa in the past? Let’s look at the following list!

  1. Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom

The Kingdom of Bunyoro-Kitara was the strongest monarchy in the Central African region during its time which flourished from the 16th century AD. Located near Lake Victoria in Uganda, this kingdom was founded by outsiders who took advantage of the opportunities after the breakup of the Kitara Empire.

The Bunyoro immigrants are breeders who later work as farmers with commodities including bananas, cassava, cassava, and so on. These people speak Nyoro, one of the major Bantu languages ​​of the Ugandan region.

The kingdom of Bunyoro-Kitara succeeded in expanding its territory until around 1800 when Buganda, a neighboring country, began to threaten its sovereignty. The last king Bunyoro was overthrown by British colonial forces in the late 19th century and the entire territory became a British protectorate.

  1. Kingdom of the Congo

The 14th-century Kingdom of the Congo was located on the west coast of Central Africa (now Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo). With its capital at M’banza-Congo (meaning ‘home of the kings’), this kingdom quickly expanded after conquering many of the surrounding areas.

Congo prospered thanks to the trade in ivory, copper, and cattle hides. There is also a growth in the arts sector such as raffia knitters, potters, and blacksmiths.

The kingdom was characterized by the use of spiral shells known as the nimbus of Luanda, as a trading currency. Congo’s economy took off even further after the arrival of Portuguese traders in the 15th century who brought in luxury goods, such as silk, Chinese ceramics, glass mirrors, and glass beads.

As European influence grew stronger, the Congolese kings began to embrace Christianity and much church building was carried out. However, they were not on good terms with the Europeans.

This kingdom began to suffer in the 16th century when various internal and external problems occurred that caused the division of the country. At the beginning of the 20th century, the entire territory of the Congo was finally controlled by Portugal.

  1. the Luba Kingdom

The Kingdom of Luba was founded in the 16th century AD in a fertile area of ​​tropical rainforest and grassland near Lake Upemba (now in Haut-Lomami Province, the Democratic Republic of the Congo). This kingdom went on a massive expansion in the 18th century and conquered many other tribes and kingdoms.

The prosperity of the Luba Kingdom was actually due to the fertility of its soil which produced agricultural export commodities, such as millet, sugar cane, beans, sweet potatoes, bananas, and sorghum. Some areas are also industrialized by freshwater fishing, pig farming, and Ankole’s long-horned cattle.

In addition, the kingdom is also famous for its pottery, basket weaving, and production of palm beer and copper jewelry. This very prosperous country traded with other peoples in the rainforests of Central Africa, the east coast of Africa, and southern Africa (such as Zimbabwe).

However, this wealth and glory could no longer be enjoyed by the rulers of Luba after the arrival of European armies in the 19th century. The territory of Luba and its surroundings was annexed to the Belgian colony of Congo in the early 20th century.

  1. The Kingdom of Linda

Lunda was a Bantu kingdom that officially existed in the early 16th century and was located around the Kasai River (now in Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo). This monarchy was founded by the Luba people from the west, so the political, artistic, and cultural structures of Lunda were heavily influenced by it.

This kingdom traded with the Arabs as well as the Portuguese since the 17th century. Ivory became the mainstay of export commodities, while imported goods were in the form of clothing and firearms. In about 1850, the kingdom was successful in reaching the peak of its glory.

However, Lunda was eventually attacked and overrun by the neighboring Chokwe. At the end of the 20th century, Portuguese and Belgian troops arrived and then divided the area of ​​​​Lunda between the two countries.

  1. the Bagirmi Kingdom

The Bagirmi Kingdom is an old country in the southern part of Lake Chad that was founded in the 16th century AD. The capital of this country is Massenya which is located in the Chari-bagirmi Province and is close to the Chari River. This monarchy officially adopted Islam during Abdullah’s reign in 1600.

The kingdom grew richer in the 17th century due to the slave trade with the surrounding countries. In addition, in the 19th century, Bagirmi became an important handicraft and commercial center with local woven fabrics as its export commodity.

In 1894, the capital of Bagirmi was occupied and conquered by the troops of Rabih az-Zubayr, a military leader from Sudan. The kingdom was eventually taken over by France after a series of treaties in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Although successful for many years, the above kingdoms are rarely known by the public. Possibly, their names seem to have disappeared without a trace because they were erased by colonialism.