The Kongo-Portuguese War: Battle of Mbumbi 1622

1 Posted by - August 16, 2023 - Black History, History, LATEST POSTS

Portuguese Angola was a colony gifted by the Kingdom of Kongo in 1575. Seven years earlier, the Jagas had rolled into the kingdom with invasion on their mind. The Portuguese teamed with the Kingdom of Kongo and were able to repel them. By the early 17th century, that mostly peaceful existence was fraying. As with other European forces throughout the colonial expansion and claiming Africa period, Portugal wanted to expand. Not only that, but the country wanted rich land–Kongo land. This resulted in the Kongo-Portuguese War in 1622–but ended with the Battle of Mbumbi at the end of the year.

Rallying Troops

While Portuguese Angola had its own troops, it bolstered its numbers with native warriors. The country had established an alliance with the Mbundu and managed to employ the tribe’s skilled archers. Most concerning was the alliance struck with the Imbangala. They were essentially marauders in Angola. While extremely effective in combat, they were also hyper-violent at times.

This reputation saw the Kongo and colonial powers view them as barbarians and cannibals. Their relationship with the Portuguese came after they were employed in taking the Kingdom of Ndongo.

Taking command of this massive, 30,000-strong force–mostly Mbundu archers–was a Captain Major Pedro de Sousa Coelho. Their goal was to take Nambu and bring its lord underfoot. They succeeded without incident but the lord managed to escape to the important merchant town of Mbumbi.

The Battle of Mbumbi

By the time Portuguese Angola marched on Mbumbi, its forces ballooned close to 40,000. The defending force of 3,000 was led by Paulo Afonso, the Duke of Mbamba and Pemba Cosme’s marquis.The situation was so dire for the defenders that the Duke himself took up sword and shield.

While the 3,000 managed to fend off the Mbundu archers. The true threat was the Imbangala mercenaries who managed to take out the Mbumbi defenders. The leaders of the defending force were among those killed. After the battle, the Portuguese Angola would pillage Mbumbi and take slaves. Meanwhile, the Imbangala would eat some of the war prisoners including the Duke and Marquis’ bodies–by accounts of battle.

In the fallout, the Kingdom of Kongo saw massive slayings of Portuguese in the realm and riots. King Pedro II was under pressure to retaliate while he also saved a number of them from violence. The Battle of Mbumbi marked the end of the larger Kongo-Portuguese War and resulted in the Kingdom forging an alliance with the Dutch.

REFERENCE: A Military History of Africa by Timothy J. Stapleton (Google Books)


  • […] post The Kongo-Portuguese War: Battle of Mbumbi 1622 appeared first on Black […]

  • gamefly May 4, 2019 - 1:47 am

    Hello! I’ve been following your weblog for a long time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Atascocita Texas!
    Just wanted to say keep up the fantastic work!

  • gamefly free trial May 5, 2019 - 8:40 pm

    May I simply just say what a comfort to find someone who truly knows what they are discussing on the net.
    You actually understand how to bring a problem to light
    and make it important. A lot more people have to read this and understand this side of the story.
    I was surprised that you are not more popular since you surely possess the gift.

  • g May 11, 2019 - 10:19 am

    I like the helpful info you provide in your articles.
    I’ll bookmark your weblog and check again here frequently.
    I am quite certain I will learn many new stuff right here!
    Good luck for the next!

  • minecraft pc download May 12, 2019 - 1:44 am

    My family all the time say that I am wasting my
    time here at web, except I know I am getting experience daily by reading such nice posts.

  • g May 13, 2019 - 11:04 am

    My programmer is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP.
    I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses.
    But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on various websites for about a year and
    am concerned about switching to another platform.
    I have heard great things about
    Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress content
    into it? Any kind of help would be really appreciated!

  • minecraft download free May 16, 2019 - 12:50 am

    Thanks a lot for sharing this with all folks you really recognise what you
    are speaking about! Bookmarked. Please also visit my web site =).
    We can have a hyperlink alternate agreement among us

  • how to get help in windows 10 May 24, 2019 - 9:31 am

    Hey there! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site with us so I came to
    check it out. I’m definitely loving the information.
    I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers!
    Terrific blog and excellent design.

  • gamefly free trial May 28, 2019 - 6:01 pm

    What a stuff of un-ambiguity and preserveness of valuable know-how on the topic of
    unpredicted feelings.

  • gamefly free trial May 29, 2019 - 4:27 pm

    Hi, I do think this is a great site. I stumbledupon it ;
    ) I will come back once again since i have book-marked it.
    Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to
    help other people.

  • gamefly free trial May 29, 2019 - 10:31 pm

    We’re a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.
    Your site provided us with valuable info to work on. You’ve done a formidable job and our entire community
    will be grateful to you.

  • gamefly free trial May 31, 2019 - 8:00 am

    Hi there it’s me, I am also visiting this website regularly, this web site is truly nice and the people are
    truly sharing pleasant thoughts.