Mutiboko

INSPIRED BY


Nzinga of Ndongo and Matamb was a 17th century queen of the Ndongo and Matamba Kingdoms of the Mbundu people in southwestern Africa.
A legendary figure in history, Nzinga was born with her umbilical cord around her neck and survived. It was a belief that these children would grow up to be proud, haughty, and headstrong individuals. It was predicted by a wise woman that Nzinga would one day become a queen. She was favored by her father and he would let her observe the workings of his kingdom and how to govern his people. He would bring her along into battle to learn war, politics, and defense first hand. 
Once she had come to power she met face-to-face with European invaders and worked tirelessly to stop the slave trades in her kingdom and was successful on some occasions. Being such a bold and no-nonsense “heathen” woman, she struck fear into the hearts of her enemies at the time. 
One of the most famous stories involves a Portuguese governor insisting she sit on a mat at his feet rather than in a chair to discuss a treaty. She would not tolerate being treated like a subordinate, so she ordered one of her servants to get down on all fours so she could sit down on his back and be eye-to-eye, thus equal to the governor. 
This story led to more stories of her owning a large male harem, watching the men fight to the death to spend the night with her, only to have the winner killed the next morning. Lastly, she supposedly indulged in cannibalism to intimidate neighboring tribes and potential enemies.
As she fell from power without an heir to her throne, she still worked to resettle former slaves and give women back the right to bear children. Though many had attempted to dethrone her, she died peacefully at age 80 and her legacy still lives on.
Today, she is remembered in Angola for her political and diplomatic acumen, great wit and intelligence, as well as her brilliant military tactics. In time, Portugal and most of Europe would come to respect her. A major street in Luanda is named after her, and a statue of her was placed in Kinaxixi on an impressive square. Angolan women are often married near the statue, especially on Thursdays and Fridays.

December 27, 2011:
Nzinga was awesome.  It’s just too bad she’s so often overshadowed and ignored.
afrodiaspores:

“The Ashantee War: Female Fashions at Cape Coast Castle,” in The Illustrated London News, April 4, 1874. First established by the Swedish as a trading fort for the exchange of materials and goods in 1653, Cape Coast Castle soon became a dungeon for holding enslaved Africans for sale and transport across the Atlantic.
Apropos of recent developments…

New Find Reveals Swedes’ Role in Ottoman Sex-Slave Trade
Jan 13, 2012 
The recent uncovering of centuries-old documents has revealed that Swedish ships were used in the Mediterranean slave trade. Up to three quarters of the cargo was women who researchers have suggested were sold as sex slaves. 




“Swedish history must be rewritten,” researcher Joachim Östlund told The Local.Östlund, from the Department of History at Lund University, found that Sweden had an active role in the 18th century slave-trades through the discovery of forgotten ship registration documents stored in Stockholm’s consulate archives. While ‘not surprised’ about uncovering Sweden’s participation in the Ottoman Empire, he stresses the importance of shedding light on Sweden’s role in the affair.“Sweden actively participated in the Ottoman Empire slave trade with the Sub-Sahara – and this is completely new,” he said.According to Östlund’s findings, the shipping registries state that the Swedish ships’ cargo was “negroes”.While the slaves sent to America were predominantly men used for plantation work, the Ottoman Empire had a different agenda entirely.“Up to 75 percent of the passengers on board were women,” said Östlund.“These women were used as servants and concubines, often both at the same time. They lived a relatively short time, research suggests an average of seven years after reaching the Empire, and this kept the slave trade between Africa and Tripoli going strong.”The only other alternative for freedom was marriage, and this, too, reduced slave numbers – prompting an increase in demand.Sweden had consuls in Tripoli in 1741, creating a peace agreement between the countriesAccording to Östlund, Sweden also had peace agreements with other states in the region meaning Swedish ships had extra leeway in international waters and used this to sail the Mediterranean uninterrupted.Östlund’s findings have created a heated discussion, and not everyone is taking the news well. While people have accused him of trying to drag Sweden’s history through the mud, Östlund explains that it was simply curiosity that motivated his research.“We can’t always have this idea that Sweden is just a happy land in the North, isolated from the rest the world,” he told The Local.Östlund’s book on the findings, Sweden and North Africa: Slavery and Diplomacy in the Mediterranean World, circa 1650-1760, will be released in 2013.
dynamicafrica:

A young Masai Moran wearing an Olemasari at his circumcision.
Kenya, 1979.
Copyright George Rodger/Magnum Photos