Queen Anna Nzinga was a 17th-century queen of the Nsongo and Matamba Kingdoms of the Mbundu people in Angola, Africa. As the sister of the King, she had an influence on political decisions and was often chosen to represent the kingdom during peace negotiations with bordering countries.
During this time, the Atlantic slave trade was growing rapidly and a power struggle between the Portuguese, English, and French was mounting. The Portuguese shifted their efforts to the Congo and South West Africa and the Mbundu people.
The first European record of Queen Nzinga lists her has the envoy of her brother at a peace conference with the Portuguese governor Joao Correia de Sousa in 1622. A peace treaty was met and the slave trade was thought to be halted.
The Portuguese did not honor their agreement and over the next few years, despite becoming Queen after her brothers death, war and power struggles plagued her kingdom.
in 1641 Queen Nzinga built an alliance with the Dutch and defeated the Portuguese three years later. They returned again in 1646 and the war over her land and her people continued.
Today she is remembered for her political and diplomatic abilities and her fight against the slave trade. Queen Nzinga is considered a symbol of the fight against oppression as the majority of her rule was spent doing so. A statue of Queen Nzinga, pictured to the right, stands in Luanda, Angola, honoring her 20+ year battle against the enslavement of her people.
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