Kasanje Kingdom

The Kasanje Kingdom, also known as the Jaga Kingdom, (1620–1910) was a pre-colonial Central African state. It was formed in 1620 by a mercenary band of Imbangala, which had deserted the Portuguese ranks. The state gets its name from the leader of the band, Kasanje, who settled his followers on the upper Kwango River. The Kasanje people were ruled by the Jaga, a king who was elected from among the three clans who founded the kingdom.[1]

Kingdom of Kansanje
Early 1600s–1912
King of Kasanje 
• c. 1620
Kalanda ka Imbe
• 1911-1912
• Established
Early 1600s
• Disestablished
• 1680
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Portuguese Angola
Today part ofLunda Norte Province
  1. Population estimate is possibly exaggerated.

In 1680 the Portuguese traveller António de Oliveira de Cadornega estimated the kingdom had 300,000 people, of whom 100,000 were able to bear arms. However, it is noted that this claim may be exaggerated.[1] The kingdom of Kasanje remained in a constant state of conflict with its neighbours, especially the kingdom of Matamba then ruled by queen Nzinga Mbande. The Imbangala state became a strong commercial center until being eclipsed by Ovimbundu trade routes in the 1850s. Kasanje was finally incorporated into Portuguese Angola in 1910–1911.

List of kings of KasanjeEdit

The kings of Kasanje are listed below based on a compilation of several different contemporary king lists by Joseph C. Miller.[2]

Kings of Kasanje (WIP)
King name Dates Notes
Zimbo c. 1500s? Existence disputed
Tembandumba c. 1500s? Existence disputed
Kulembe 1560s?
Kinguri 1560s?
Kalanda ka Imbe c. 1600s Met by the English traveler Andrew Battel, 1601-1603
Kulashingo c. 1610-1616 Became allies with the Portuguese, c. 1612-1616
Kasanje ka Kulashingo c. 1616-1620s
Kasanje Kingdom founded c. 1620
Kalunga ka Kilombo c. 1630s-1650
Ngongo a Mbande c. 1650-1680 Known personally by the missionary Cavazzi
"Dom. Pascoal Machado" 1680 Killed in an attack from Matamba and Mbundu armies
Kingwangwa kya Kima c. 1680-1681 Usurper; possibly identified as "Luiz Dala"
Kitamba kya Keta 1681-1690? Possibly identified as "Luiz Dala"
Mwanya a Kasanje c. 1690s?
Kiluanje kya Ngonga c. 1690s-1700s?
Kinguri kya Kasombe c. 1700s?
Kitumba kya Kalunga c. 1710s
Kambamba ka Kinguri c. 1720s?
Kasanje ka Kiluanje c. 1730s?
Lubame lwa Kipungo c. 1739-1750s?
Ngunza a Kambamba c. 1750-1770 Extremely powerful
Lukala lwa Njinje Early 1770s?
Kalunga ka Luhame Mid 1770s?
Kitumba kya Wanga Late 1770s-Early 1780s?
Kisweya kya Kambamba Mid 1780s?
Kitamba kya Shiba c. 1785-1792
Malenge a Ngonga 1792-c. 1810 Defeated by Félix Velazco Galiano, commander of Pungo Andongo, in 1805
Kitumba kya Ngonga c. 1810-1820
Kansanje kya Kambolo c. 1820s
Kihengo kya Kambolo Early 1830s
Kamasa ka Kiwende Mid 1830s
Mbumba a Kinguri c. 1840-1850 Expelled by a Portuguese expeditionary force in 1850
Kalunga ka Kisanga 1850 Ruled as a Portuguese vassal; assassinated in late 1850 by Mbumba a Kinguri loyalists
Kambolo ka Ngonga 1851-1856 Known as "Dom Fernando Accacio Ferreira" to the Portuguese
Kamweje ka Kalunga 1856-1857 Died under mysterious circumstances
Mbumba a Kinguri 1857-1873 2nd reign, probably arranged Kamweje ka Kalunga's death. Kingdom embroiled in civil war after his death
Civil War, 1873-1883
Malenge a Kitumba 1873 Killed in battle
Kwango 1883-1885 Swore fealty to Luis I of Portugal
Kasanje ka Kalanyi 1888 Had little authority, upon death a political stalemate lasted until 1896
Kinguri kya Kiluanje 1896 Also known as Mushabata; immediately expelled and another stalemate occurred until 1911
Ngwangwa 1911-1912 Defeated both warring factions; led a failed revolt against the Portuguese in 1912 that led to the end of the kingdom


Kasanje is located on the upper Kwango River in what is now Angola.[3]


  1. ^ a b Fage, J. D.; Oliver, Roland (1975). The Cambridge History of Africa: From c. 1600 to c. 1790. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 355. ISBN 0-521-20413-5. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
  2. ^ Miller, Joseph C. (1979). "Kings, Lists, and History in Kasanje". History in Africa. 6: 51–96. doi:10.2307/3171741. ISSN 0361-5413. JSTOR 3171741.
  3. ^ Kasanje - Britannica Concise

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