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Nganga Nzumbi was an enslaved African who escaped bondage on a sugar plantation and eventually rose to the position of highest authority within the kingdom of Palmares

Posted by Walter Gido on

Nganga Nzumbi was an enslaved African who escaped bondage on a sugar plantation and eventually rose to the position of highest authority within the kingdom of Palmares
Nganga Nzumbi was an enslaved African who escaped bondage on a sugar plantation and eventually rose to the position of highest authority within the kingdom of Palmares, and then earned the title of Ganga Zumba. Although some Portuguese documents regard Ganga Zumba as his proper name, and this name is widely used today, the most important of the documents translates the name as “Great Lord.” In Kikongo, nganga a nzumbi was “the priest responsible for the spiritual defense of the community” which was a kilombo or military settlement made up multiple groups.
Ganga Zumba, who was thought to be a Kongo royal, was the son of Princess Aqualtune Ezgondidu Mahamud da Silva Santos (daughter of a Kongo monarch); and was most likely kidnapped after the Battle of Mbwila, in which Portugal defeated the Kingdom of Kongo. The Portuguese sold Zumba, his siblings, and a large number of other nobility captured after the war; to the Santa Rita Plantation in Portugal’s province of Pernambuco, where they were raised as slaves (Northeast Brazil).
With his name Engraved into history as a warrior and freedom fighter who played a key role; in the contemporary struggle of the Brazilian Black Movement; Ganga Zumba is remembered for his actions and struggles and forming the alliance of “independent settlements”– Quilombo dos Palmares– that was the fulcrum of the history and contemporary struggle of the Afro Brazilians.

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