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Demography and History in the Kingdom of Kongo, 1550–1750

  • John Thornton

It has long been generally supposed that the kingdom of Kongo suffered a severe decline in population due to the civil wars of the seventeenth century and the slave trade. These figures are derived from literary estimates made by travellers and missionaries of the time. New estimates of population can be obtained by combining the statistics of baptisms left by the missionaries who lived in Kongo with a reconstruction of the age structure of the kingdom. Use of these estimates permits more exact calculations for the period 1650–1700, which suggest a much lower population level—about 500,000—than the commonly accepted figure of two million. This discovery suggests that the postulated population disaster did not occur; instead, it seems that levels of population remained relatively stable, growing slightly throughout the period in question. In addition to revising estimates of population, it has been possible to use the available statistics to throw light on the age structure and vital rates that prevailed in Kongo in the late seventeenth century, as well as to examine certain factors that have impinged on population.

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1 Among the writers who have suggested a long decline in the population of Kongo are: Vansina, Jan, Kingdoms of the Savanna, (Madison, 1966), 190–1; Randies, W. G. L., L'ancien royaume de Congo, (Paris, 1968), 146–8; Jadin, Louis, ‘Aperçu de la situation du Congo en 1760 d'après la relation de Rosario dal Parco …’, BIHBR, xxxv (1963), 355–8; Toso, Carlo, ‘Relazioni inedite di P. Cherubino Cassinis da Savona sul “Regnodel Congo e sue Missioni”‘, L'Italia Francescana, l (1974), 102–3; Oliver, Roland and Fage, J. D., A Short History of Africa, (Baltimore, 1962), 125; Stevenson, Robert, Population and Political Organization in Tropical Africa, (New York, 1968), 182, 186.

2 Lopes, Duarte to Sixtus, v (24 Nov. 1588), MMA, iii, 358; APF: SRC I, fol. 9v ‘Come io Fr Giuseppe Ma da Busseto … lo stato delli Missioni Congo …’ (c. 1675) and II, fol. 153v, Manuel de Saa to Propaganda Fide (2 Nov. 1687).

3 AS Parma, Raccolta di Manoscritti, viaggi, busta 49, Angelo Maria da Polinago to Dorotea Sofia di Neuburg (16 Aug. 1733), 3; Toso, , ‘Relazioni inedite’, 102; Jadin, , ‘Aperçu’, 355.

4 Randies has followed this course most literally (L'ancien royaume, 146–8).

5 Jadin and Toso, students of da Savona's writing, have tended to accept his figure, while Georges Balandier (tr. Weaver, H.), Daily Life in the Kingdom of the Kongo, (New York, 1968), 139, rejects it and puts the level at two million, as apparently does Teobaldo Filesi (Toso, , ‘Relazioni inedite’, 103, n. 50).

6 Neveux, Hugues, ‘Declin et réprise: la fluctuation biséculaire, 1330–1560’, in Duby, Georges and Wallon, Armand (eds.), Histoire de la France rurale, ii (Paris, 1975), 72–5; Ho, Ping-ting, Studies on the Population of China, 1368–1953 (New York, 1959), 236; Perkins, Dwight, Agricultural Development in China, 1368–1968, (Chicago, 1969), 85110.

7 Cook, Sherbourne, The Indian Population of Central Mexico, 1531–1610, (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1960).

8 Cf. Goubert, Pierre, Beauvais et Beauvaisis, (Paris, 1960); Duby, and Wallon, , Histoire; Wrigley, E. A., Population and History (New York and Toronto, 1969); Laslett, Peter, The World We Have Lost, (London, 1965).

9 da Caltanisetta, Luca (ed. and tr. Bontinck, F.), Diaire Congolais, 1690–1700 (Louvain and Paris, 1970), 38, 44, 57, 92, 144, 192, 208 and 229; Zucchelii da Gradisca, Antonio, Relazione del Viaggio e Missione di Congo nell'Etiopia Inferiore Occidentale (Venezia, 1712), 251 and 300.

10 Excellent advice on the use and demographic implications of parish registers in France may be found in Henry, Louis, Manuel de démographie historique, (Geneva and Paris, 1967).

11 APC Valencia, de Alcantc, Joseph, ‘Crónica de los Capuchinos de Valencia desde 1650 hasta 172Z’, 170.

12 da Montecuccolo, Giovanni Antonio Cavazzi, Istorica Descrizione de’ tre regni, Congo, Matamba ed Angola, (Bologna, 1687), Lib V, para. 58. The only now extant by-name baptismal register of a Kongo population is that compiled by non-Capuchin French missionaries in a colony of people from Sonyo in the hinterland of Kakongo in 1774–5: Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Fundo Borgia Latino, 766, fols. 337–54.

13 BN Lisbon, Fundo Geral E 2–26, ‘Missione in Pratica dei Pp. Cappucini ne Regni di Congo, Angola, e adiacenti brevemente esposta’ (c. 1750), i, 3, fol. 5v.

14 BE, MS. Italicus 1380, alpha N.9.7, da Modena, Giuseppe Monari, ‘Viaggio al Congo’ (c. 1723), 203, fol. 106.

15 Caltanisetta, da, Diaire, 194.

16 APF: SRC, Africa I, fol. 271, da Pavia, Francesco, ‘Numero delle Anime Battezzate …’ (1701); Cavazzi, Istorica Descrizione, iii, paras. 118–34; iv, paras. 5–151; v, paras. 43–69; vii, paras. 9–15 and 167–78.

17 On the fate of the archive and a search to find it, see Jadin, Louis, ‘Recherches dans les archives et bibliothèques d'ltalie et du Portugal sur L'ancien Congo’, Bulletin des Séances, Académie royale des sciences coloniales, ii, 6 (1956), 953–5. Some documents from this archive have survived transcribed in APF: see the dossier on the Capuchin-secular clergy dispute in Jadin, L., ‘Le clergé séculier et les Capuchins du Congo et d'Angola aux XVIe et XVIIe siècles’, BIHBR, xxxvi (1964), 320–97, passim.

18 AS Modena, Cancelleria Ducale, Documenti di Stati e Città, busta 105, ‘Missioni del Congo’ (c. 1655).

19 APC Toscana, da Montesarchio, Girolamo, ‘Viaggio del Gongho, cio è Relazione scritta da un nostro Missionario Capuccino…’ (1669), 29; da Montesarchio, to da Sorrento, Bonaventura, 20 Mar. 1650, MMA, x, 486. A translation of Montesarchio's ‘Viaggio’ has been published, but was not available to me. See de Bouveignes, O. and J. Cuvelier, Jérбme de Montesarchio, Apôtre du Vieux Congo (Namur, n.d. (1951).

20 da Sorrento, Girolamo Merolla, Breve e succinta Relatione del Viaggio nel Congo, (Napoli, 1692), 135.

21 da Lucca, Lorenzo's letters translated and edited by Cuvelier, Jean as Relations sur le Congo du P. Laurent de Lucques, (Mémoire de L'lnstitut Royal Colonial Beige, xxxii, 2: Brussels, 1954), 167.

22 da Dicomano, Raimondo, ‘Informaçãao do Reino de Congo’ (1798) in António Brásio, ‘Informação do Reino de Congo de P. Raimondo da Dicomano, 1791–95’, Studia, xxxiv (1972), 24.

23 Ibid. 25.

24 Anonymous (ed. Brásio, António), História do Reino de Congo, (c. 1630) (Lisbon, 1969), 20.

25 APF: SOCG, 249, fols. 336–44, Buenaventura de Corella, ‘Relasion de los ritos gentilicos …’ (c. 1650); Cavazzi, , Istoriea Descrizione, I, paras. 174204.

26 Francesco da Roma, Giovanni (ed. and tr. Bontinck, F.), Brève Relation de la Fondation de la Mission … (1648) (Paris and Louvain, 1964), 30; Cuvelier, (ed.), Relations, 167.

27 BN Lisbon, Fundo Geral, Vermelho 269, Cordoso, Matteus, Doutrina Christaˇa, (Lisbon, 1624) fols. 3 and 4; BN Centrale, Roma, Fundo Minori 1896, MS. Varia 274 (van Gheel, Joris), ‘Vocabularium Latinum, Hispanicum et Congoese’ (c. 1651), fol. 93v, ‘sacerdos. tis. nganganquissi’.

28 APC Toscana, da Montesarchio, Viaggio, ii; Merolla, , Relatione, 151.

29 Cavazzi, , Istorica Descrizione, v, paras. 23–7.

30 See Chaunu, Pierre, ‘Sur la fin des sorciers au XVIIe siècle’, Annales: Économies, Sociétés, Civilisations, xxiv, 4 (1969), for a survey of literature on European sorcery and the attitude of the Church in this period.

31 APC Toscana, da Montesarchio, , ‘Viaggio’, 25.

32 APF: SOCG, 249, fols. 336–36v, Corella, de, ‘Relasion’; Cavazzi, , Istorica Descrizione, 1, para. 198; APC Toscana, Montesarchio, da, ‘Viaggio’, 125–35. An excellent modern description is in Van Wing, Joseph, Études Bakongo (second ed., Brussels, 1959), 420–89.

33 See note 32.

34 APC Toscana, da Montesarchio, , ‘Viaggio’, 77.

35 Cavazzi Jstorica Descrizione, i, para. 198.

36 Merolla, , Relatione, 143–4.

37 AS Modena, Cancelleria Ducale, Documenti di Stati e Città, busta 105, ‘Vita, grandezze e parte della Missione del Congo’ (c. 1655); Dicomano, da, ‘Informação’ 24–5.

38 Roma, da (ed. Bontinck), Brève Relation, 119.

39 Caltanisetta, da, Diaire, 79.

40 It should be noted that the overwhelming cause of conflict between missionaries and common people concerned missionary interference with the kimpasi, including the death of Joris van Gheel in 1651: see Hildebrand, Georges, Le Martyr Georges de Gheel, (Antwerp, 1940), 336–40.

41 A typical routine: cf. Zucchelli, , Relazione, 218.

42 For an excellent history of the Kongo Church see Jadin, , ‘Clergé séculier’ (cited in n. 17), 185271.

43 On early secular churches, see a map of the churches in Kongo, c. 1630, in APF: SOCG, 99, fols. 29–30v. On the staffing of the secular organization in mid-century, see da Soveral, Francisco, ‘De statu omnium ecclesiarum Episcopatus Congensis et Angolensis …’ (22 Sept. 1640), MMA, viii, 442–3. These often helped the first Capuchins when they arrived in 1645–8 (Cavazzi, , Istorica Descrizione, iv, passim). The Capuchins began their own schools shortly after: Memorial of da Roma, Giovanni Francesco (1 Feb. 1655), MMA, xi, 429–31.

44 Typical functions for Sonyo: see BE, MS. Italicus 1380, alpha N.9.7, Monari, , ‘Viaggio’, 208–12, fols. 108V–10 and 223–4, fols. 116–16v; Zucchelli, , Relazione, 285. For the eastern regions, see APC Toscana, Montesarchio, da, ‘Viaggio’, 28–9. During the later seventeenth century the number of posts constantly manned declined from the mid-century level, and missionary activity had two centres: in the west at Sonyo, and in the east, first at S30 Salvador, but later, after that city's destruction in 1678, at Nkusu. The Capuchins built up their best organizations at these two centres; in fact at Sonyo the Capuchin organization replaced the secular one altogether. In the east, secular and Capuchin organizations co-existed, sometimes in conflict, but each baptizing, teaching and travelling. APF: SRC II, fol. 152–5, Manuel de Saa (2 Nov. 1687); Account of Luis de Mendoza (1722) in Jadin, , ‘Clergé’ séculier’ (cited in n. 17), 371–3; Caltanisetta, da, 19, 53–4, 65, 77–

45 Almost all accounts of Kongo of any length have much to say about these constant companions of the missionaries.

46 Zucchelli, , Relazione, 218, 300.

47 Libome: 13, Tubii: 37, Bemba: 137, Pambala: 223 (ibid., 300). See Map 2 on p. 521, below.

48 Cuvelier, (ed.), Relations, 8899.

49 da Troyna, Francesco to Clement, xi (Aug. 1714) in Jadin, Louis, ‘Le Congo et la secte des antoniens …’, BIHBR, xxxiii (1961), 587–8. The process of inferring from Francesco da Troyna's data that he baptized 699 children under two illustrates some of the problems encountered in using this type of source material. Da Troyna did not give annual statistics for each site, but only the total number of baptisms performed at each site, and the number of visits to that site for his entire stay in Sonyo. In order to break this number down I have had to reconstruct his annual itinerary, which is possible using his notes, those of da Lucca (Cuvelier, (ed.), Relations, 178) and the normal procedures and routes as outlined in Zucchelli, , Relazione, 218. The result: 1705: Libome, Tubii, Bemba and Pambala only, as da Troyna arrived only in August and had little time before the rains. 1706: Libome, Tubii, Bemba, Pambala, Kiova, then south through Ntari, Banza (in S. Pambala), Mukoshi, Funta, Museto, returning to the hospice through Kiondo, Mukoshi and Kitombe. 1707: Masongo, Kitombe, Nzala licombe (in Kaenza), Kaenza, Kiondo, Funta, Lusambo (in Mbamba ya Sonyo), Missanui, Ntari, Kiova, Savanna, returning to the hospice through Banza, Mukoshi and Kitombe. Political trouble prevented any work in 1708. (See Map 2 for the approximate location of these places.) Thus da Troyna visited Libome, Tubii, Bemba and Pambala in 1705, the children baptized being all under two, and again in 1706, these children being under one. In all he performed 1,099 baptisms in these locations, and if we take the 400 baptisms that Zucchelli performed in the same area in 1701 as being typical of the size of the under one age group, then we can subtract this from da Troyna's total to get an approximation of those under two: thus 1,099 Xc. 400 = c. 700 children under two. I have grouped these four districts together as they were small and people from one district might well be baptized in another.

50 Zucchelli, , Relazione, 300 (Kiova: 280, Savanna: 172); Troyna, da to Clement, XI, in Jadin, ‘Le Congo et la secte’, 588. I have used the same procedure as above to disaggregate.

51 Cole, Ansley and Demeny, Paul, Regional Model Life Tables and Stable Populations, (Princeton, 1966). The introduction provides details on how the tables were generated as well as information on their use.

52 That is, 400÷699 and 452÷1730: see above.

53 I have combined the male and female rates in Coale, and Demeny, , Tables, 468 and 564. While the authors recommend using the ‘West’ model fertility as a first test, and Brass, William, The Demography of Tropical Africa (Princeton, 1968), 113, recommends the ‘North’ model for Africa, I found that the ‘East’ table fits the two ratios I have far more closely than any other model. I have used linear interpolation, as Coale and Demeny feel it is permissible (Tables, 41).

54 Proportion under one interpolated from combined sexes at the appropriate level. This means that the total population was (100÷35) X 400 = 11,400.

55 APF: SRC Africa, iii, fol. 127, ‘Nota delle Missione che jo fr Antonio Maria da Fiorenza … nel Contea di Sogno … 1704’.

56 Zucchelli, , Relazione, 300. 174 X (100÷3.5) = 4,971. See Burton, Richard, Two Trips to Gorilla Land and the Cataracts of the Congo (London, 1876), 203.

57 Cuvelier, (ed.), Relations, 8891. For a detailed description of the daily travels of the missionary within the Mbanza area, including an hourly timetable, BE, MS. Italicus, 1380, alpha N.9.7, Monari, Viaggio, 186–8, fols. 97v-98v.

58 Lucca, da to Clement, xi (1711) in Jadin, ‘Le Congo et la secte’, 557.

59 BE, MS. Italicus 1380, alpha N.9.7, Monari, , ‘Viaggio’, 393, fol. 201.

60 Zucchelli, , Relazioni, 144.

61 da Gallo, Bernardo, ‘Conto delle villicazione …’ (1710), translated in Jadin, , ‘Le Congo et la secte’, 466. Da Gallo does not tell us the period of time to which this mortality refers. I have assumed he meant one year, and not his total time there.

62 APF: SRC Africa, III, fol. 127; BE, MS. Italicus 1380, alpha N.9.7, Monari, , ‘Viaggio’, 186–8, fols. 97v-98v.

63 On the high birth rate, see Zucchelli, , Relazione, 50, and da Piacenza, Dionigio Carli, ‘Relation nouvelle et curieuse d'un voyage au Congo …’, in Jean-Baptiste Labat, Relation historique de L'Éthiopie Occidentale (Paris, 1732), v, 132. For the birthrate in the rural areas of their Venetian homeland, see Beltrami, Daniele, Storia della popolazione di Venezia dalla fine del secolo XVI alia caduta della Rcpubblica (Padua, 1954), 158.

64 Reinhard, Marcel, Armengaud, André and Dupaquier, Jacques, Histoire générate de la population mondiale (second ed., Paris, 1968), 146–73.

65 Branco, Garcia Mendes Castello, ‘Relação tocante ao Reyno de Congo’ (16 Jan. 1620), MMA, vi, 440.

66 For Sonyo, see Ouman, Pieter Zengers, ‘Brève relation concernant L'état…’ (1643) in Jadin, Louis, ‘Rivalités luso-néerlandaises au Soyo, Congo …BIHBR, xxxvii (1966), 240; Zucchelli, , Relazione, 199; AS Parma, Raccolta di Manoscritti, viaggi, busta 49, da Polinago to di Neuburg, 2 May 1733, 1. For the rest of Kongo (two harvests), see Roma, da (ed. Bontinck), Brhèe relation, 88–9; da Piacenza, Carli, ‘Relation curieuse’, 160; APF: SRC Africa, III, fol. 268, da Pavia, Francesco (1701).

67 Ouman, in Jadin, , ‘Rivalités’, 240.

68 ‘Attestation du P. Bonaventura d'Alessano et ses compagnons, 13 juin 1645’, in da Roma (ed. Bontinck, ), Brève Relation, 141; d'Alessano, Bonaventura to Mgr. Ingoli, 4 June 1645, MMA, ix, 272.

69 That is, (100÷13.7) X 2000 = 14,600.

70 BE, MS. Italicus 1380, alpha N.9.7, Monari, , ‘Viaggio’, 147, fol. 78.

71 Merolla, , Relatione, 121–7.

72 AS Parma, Raccolta di MSS., viaggi, busta 49, da Polinago to di Neuburg, 2 Mar. 1733, 2.

73 da Ceriana, Bonaventura to Fide, Propaganda (19 May 1794) in Toso, Carlo, ‘Relazioni inedite di Bonaventura da Ceriana sulla missione “ne' regni di Congo Angola e luoghi adiacenti”‘, Laurentianum, xiv, 2 (1973), 327–8. (100÷3.5) x 1000 = 28,571 and 3,374 X (100÷11.2) = 30,125. The last priest to visit Sonyo before him was Stefano Maria da Castelleto: APF: SRC Africa V, fol. 383v, 6 May 1777.

74 30,000 people lived in an area of some 500 sq. km. I have calculated surface areas throughout this research by tracing the outlines of the areas in question from the map of Kongo in da Lucca (ed. Cuvelier, ), Relations, facing p. 52 (drawn by Cuvelier to a scale of 1:20,000,000) on to graph paper divided into 5x5 mm squares (1 square representing 36 sq. km). While I have used Cuvelier's map for features and scale, I have redrawn many political boundaries, in accordance with my own research.

75 Kiova: 280 X (100÷3.5) = 8,000; area: 1,600 sq. km.

Savanna: 172 X (100÷3.5) = 4,914; area: 1,000 sq. km.

76 The above reconstruction of population distribution in southern Sonyo is based on the baptismal notes of Francesco da Troyna. In order to use these notes, we must ascertain the actual number of baptisms performed in a visit, and the age-group of those baptized.

Da Troyna visited Kiondo, Funta and Museto twice (in 1706 and 1707) and left only a single, lump-sum figure for each area. Since, however, Lorenzo da Lucca visited the same areas in 1705, we may infer that during each of his visits da Troyna was baptizing children under one. Assuming that the number of children under one was reasonably constant from year to year, we can halve da Troyna's figure to obtain the number of children under one in each year. Da Troyna only visited Masongo, Kitombe and Kaenza once, and the only problem presented by this set of baptismal figures is the age-group of the children. Since Masongo and Kitombe were within a day's journey of the hospice (cf. da Lucca, ed. Cuvelier, , Relations, 165), they were probably baptized in 1706 by one of the priests of the hospice, and da Troyna's baptisms of 1707 represent children under one. Kaenza, further to the south, was out of range of the hospice, but as da Lucca visited Kaenza in 1705, da Troyna's figure for 1707 may be taken to represent children under two. According to the appropriate life-table, it may be assumed that this age-group constituted 6.1 per cent of the total population. The other baptismal figures shown below represent the population under one, and are therefore taken to be 3.5 per cent of the total in each area (cf. p. 517 above).

77 Zucchelli, , Relazione, 218–32, passim.

78 AS Parma, Raccolta di MSS., viaggi, busta 49, da Polinago to di Neuburg, 6 Aug. ‘733. 2. Another letter in this folder, dated 2 Mar. 1733, indicates that the last priest visited Sonyo three years before; hence we may calculate as follows:

79 André Cordeiro, ‘Relation de la révolte de Dom AfFonso …’ (24 Jan. 1622), in Jadin, Louis, ‘Relations sur le Congo et L'Angola tirées des archives de la Compagnie de JésusBIHBR, xxxix (1968), 365.

80 BN Madrid, MS. 3533, de Teruel, Antonio, ‘Descripcion Narrativa de la Mission Serafica … en el Reyno de Congo’ (c. 1664), 78–9; APC Toscana, Montesarchio, da, ‘Viaggio’, 2635.

81 Jorge Vaz, (i Aug. 1548), MMA, i, 184; Dias, Jacome (1 Aug. 1548), MMA, i, 182.

82 Area: 300 sq. km.

83 Pigafetta, Filippo, Relatione del Reame di Congo et delle circonvicine Contrade, (Rome, 1591). 3940.

84 Veriera, Antonio (witness), ‘Interrogatoria de Statu Regni Congoensis’ (1595), MMA, iii, 502; de Cacegas, Luis and de Sousa, Luís, História de São Domingos, (Lisbon, 1662) in MMA, v, 610.

85 Cacegas, de and Sousa, de, História, MMA, v, 608–10; Cordoso, Matteus, ‘Relaçāo da 2a ida de P Matteus Cordoso …’ (1625), MMA, vii, 377–80.

86 Cavazzi, , Istorica Descrizione, ii, para. 83. The area of densest settlement was the royal district, which as Pigafetta explained extended a radius of twenty Italian miles (c. 28 km) from the centre of the city (Relatione, 39).

87 Mendes, Pedro (2 Jan. 1710) in Manso, Pavia, Historia do Reino do Congo (Documentos) Lisbon, 1877), 351; APF: SOCG 495, fol. 168, Paolo da Varazze to Propaganda Fide (1682).

88 APC Toscana, Montesarchio, da, ‘Viaggio’, 153–4.

89 Cavazzi, , htorica Descrizione, I, para. 154; APF: SOCG 495, fol. 168; Mendes, Pedro, in Manso, Pavia, Hisódria, 351.

90 da Gallo, Bernardo, ‘Relazione delL' ultime guerre civili…’ (12 Dec. 1710), in Filesi, Teobaldo, ‘Nazionalismo e religione nel Congo alL'inizio del 1700’, Africa (Rome), ix, 2 (1971), 475; da Dicomano, Raimondo, ‘Informação’, 41; APF: SRC Africa, VI, fol. 370, da Bene, Pietro Paulo, ‘Relazione dello stato in che attualmente …’ (20 Aug. 1820).

91 APC Toscana, Montesarchio, da, ‘Viaggio’, 33–4.

92 BN Centrale, Roma, Fundo Generale 1896, MS. Varia 274, ‘Vocabularium’, fols. 138–38v; Cavazzi, , Istorica Descrizione, v, para. 45. Hildebrand, (Le Martyr, 300–7) has worked out his itinerary on the map.

93 Cavazzi, , Istorica Descrizione, vii, para. 178. The last priest to visit the area was Girolamo da Montesarchio in 1668: APC Toscana, Montesarchio, da, ‘Viaggio’, 153–4, and APF: SOCG, 422, fol. 425, Alvaro VIII to Propaganda Fide (20 June 1668); the area was 4,250 sq. km.

94 Caltanisetta, da, Diaire, 4557. Population: 929 X (100÷3.5) = 26,570; area: 6,700 sq. km.

95 Carli da Piacenza, Dionigio, ‘Relation curieuse’, as cited in n. 63, and idem, ii Moro trasportado nelL'inclita Citta di Venetia, (Bassano, 1687), passim.

96 Lucca, da (ed. Cuvelier), Relations, 207–13.

97 Letter of Diego de Santissimo Santo, 14 Dec. 1584, MMA, iii, 304; area: 45 leagues (225 km) X 5 km for areas visited along the road.

98 Pero Tavares to Jesuit Superior (1 Mar. 1635), in Jadin, Louis, ‘Pero Tavares, missionaire jésuite, ses travaux apostoliques au Congo …BIHBR, xxxvii (1967), 374.

99 da Massafra, Francesco to Monari, Giuseppe (26 Feb. 1723), in Jadin, , ‘Clergé séculier’, 351. 2177 baptized (total 2,183 ‘ess 6 baptisms done in Mbanza Mbamba) under one year old = total population of 62,600.

100 por 1650, figures for some 9,400 sq. km; for 1700, figures for 33,400 sq. km.

101 Estimates have been obtained by multiplying areas by an assumed uniform density known either by baptismal statistics or by interpolating between densities known at other dates. Hence, for Sonyo I have built up the 1700 estimate from the statistics given in notes 69, 75 and 76. Some regions have no statistics, and I have assumed densities from adjacent areas, thus I have used a density of 4 per sq. km for Pambala and Mukoshi and 3.5 per sq. km for Ntari, Missanui and Mbamba ya Sonyo. To obtain the 1650 figure I have reduced the 1700 figure for all areas but Mbanza Sonyo by 20 per cent, a growth rate assumed from the observed rate in Matari. For Mbanza Sonyo I have used the known figure of 14,600 for 1650 (from n. 69). For Mbamba, I have used a density of 3.1 per sq. km for 1650 and 3.5 per sq. km for 1700 based on interpolation between the densities of 1548, 1635 and 1722 (see nn. 97–9). For the centre and east I have used a density of 3.5 per sq. km for 1650 (see nn. 91 and 92) and X 4.0 per sq. km for 1700 (n. 94) for all areas except a 1,500 sq. km region which comprised Sao Salvador. For 1650 I have estimated the Sao Salvador region as containing 60,000 people (n. 86), while for 1700 only 6,000 (that is 1,500 sq. km X 4.0 per sq. km).

102 I have laid these areas out on the map primarily according to the agricultural regions as described in Diniz, A. Castanho, As Characteristicas Mesologicas de Angola (Nova Lisboa, 1973), 1677. Sonyo is roughly equal to region 2, the centre and east to regions 4, 5 and 6, and Mbamba to regions 3 and 7–8. I have used the 1000 mm rainfall line to separate Mbamba from the centre and east.

103 Boone, Olga, Carte ethnique de la Répvblique du Zaïre, (Tervuren, 1973), 50, citing unpublished ethnic census of 1948; Morgado, Nuno Alves, Aspectos da EvoliifSo Demografica da Populaçpão da Antiga Provincia do Congo (Lisbon, 1959), 34.

104 Boone, , Carte, 50; Morgado, , Aspectos, 62.

105 For example, Affonso I to João III (18 Oct. 1526), MMA, i, 460.

106 Birmingham, David, Trade and Conflict in Angola, (London, 1966), 26–8.

107 Ibid., 131–2.

108 Merolla, , Relatione, 209.

109 Birmingham, , Trade and Conflict, 136–41; Dapper, Olifert (tr. von Moers, Jacob), Umbeständliche und Eigentliche Beschreibung von Africa (Amsterdam, 1670), 556 (reprinted, New York, 1967); Capelle, F. to de Nassau, J. M. (Mar. 1642) in Jadin, ‘Rivalités’, 226.

110 APC: SOCG, 250, fols. 26–26V, ‘Nelli schiavi che si cõprano e vendero …’ (c. 1653).

111 APC Toscana, da Firenze, Filippo Bernardi, ‘Ragguagli del Congo, cioè Viaggi fatti da’ Missionarij … a’ Regni del Congo …’ (1711), 620.

112 Zucchelli, , Relazione, 337–8; da Lucca, (ed. Cuvelier, ), Relations, 212, 279.

113 Zucchelli, , Relazione, 144, 197–9.

114 Locusts came in 1642, 1643, 1649, 1652, 1653, 1654, 1658, 1662 and 1664: Cavazzi, , Istorica Descrizione, 11, para, no, v, para. 23; APC Toscana, Montesarchio, da, ‘Viaggio’, 11; da Cortona, Serafino to Fide, Propaganda, 12 May 1653, MMA, xi, 306.

115 APC Toscana, Montesarchio, da, ‘Viaggio’, 83–4. Note that the plague struck Nsundi but not Mbata, just a few dozen kilometers to the south.

116 Droughts are recorded for the following years: 1638–9 (F. Capelle to J. M. de Nassau, in Jadin, , ‘Rivalités’, 216–7); 663 (Cavazzi, , Istorica Descrizione, v, para. 56); 1673–4 (APF: SOCG 457, fol. 371, Andrea da Buti to Propaganda Fide); 1683 (Merolla, , Relatione, 112); 1691–2 (APC Toscana, Bernardi, , ‘Ragguagli’, 623); 1702 (da Lucca, ed. Cuvelier, , Relations, 42) 11717 (Biblioteca Públics de Evora, Códice CXX/2–3, 28, da Torano, Giuseppe to Governor of Angola, 8 Jan. 1717).

117 The total population for 1706 was approximately 3700 people, according to the calculation made in note 76 above. The population under 14, according to the table, made up 32 per cent of the total, and 32 per cent of 3,700 is roughly 1,200.

118 APC Toscana, Bernardi, , ‘Ragguagli’, 623.

* This paper was originally presented in a Seminar of African History at the University of California, Los Angeles, for Professor Boniface Obichere. It has benefited greatly from the helpful criticisms and suggestions of Professors Lutz Berkner, Edward A. Alpers, Agnes Aidoo and Joseph Miller, and Dr Andrew Roberts; they have done all they could to keep me from drifting too far into error. I would also like to thank the directors and staffs of the archives listed below, especially Fr. Giacomo Carlini of the APC, Toscana, for sending me literally thousands of feet of microfilm or xerox copies of unpublished documents. Without their patience and help it would have been impossible even to begin this research.

I have used the following abbreviations in the footnotes:

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