Ganguela (pronunciation: gang'ela) or Nganguela is the name of a small ethnic group living in
Angola , national_anthem = "Angola Avante"() , image_map = , map_caption = , capital = Luanda , religion = , religion_year = 2015 , religion_ref = , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , o ...

, but since colonial times the term has been applied to a number of peoples East of the
Bié Plateau Image:Location Bié.PNG, Bié Plateau The Bié Plateau or Central Plateau of Angola is a plateau that occupies most of central Angola. The elevation of the plateau is from 1,520 m to 1,830 m. Several major rivers originate from the plateau such as ...
. In addition to the Nganguela proper, this ethnographic category includes the Lwena (Luena), the Luvale, the Mbunda, the Lwimbi, the Camachi and others. All of these peoples live on subsistence agriculture, the rearing of small animals, and from gathering wild fruit, honey and other foods. Each group has its own language, although these are related among themselves. Each group also has its own
social identity Identity is the qualities, beliefs, personality, looks and/or expressions that make a person (self-identity One's self-concept (also called self-construction, self-identity, self-perspective or self-structure) is a collection of belief ...

social identity
; there exists no overarching social identity encompassing them all, so that one cannot speak of these groups as one people divided into subgroups. The peoples called "Ganguela" have been known to the Portuguese since the 17th century, when they became involved in the commercial activities developed by the colonial bridgeheads of
Luanda Luanda () is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lower ...

Benguela Benguela (; Umbundu: Luombaka) is a city in western Angola, capital of Benguela Province. Benguela is one of Angola's most populous cities with a population of 555,124 in the city and 561,775 in the municipality, at the 2014 census. History Port ...

which existed at that time. On the one hand, many of the slaves bought by the Portuguese from African middlemen came from these people. On the other hand, in the 19th and early 20th century the "Ganguela" peoples furnished wax, honey, ivory and others good for the caravan trade organised by the Ovimbundu for the Portuguese in Benguela. After the collapse of the caravan trade, the "Ganguela" were for long — in fact until the very end of the colonial period — of little interest for the Portuguese. This is why they were relatively late subjected to a colonial occupation to which — with the exception of the Mbunda — they offered near to no serious resistance. During the few decades under colonial rule, their way of life changed less than in most other regions of Angola. As a rule, they were neither the object of systematic missionary work, nor subject to heavy tax levy or the recruitment as paid labour. The only important economic activity developed by the Portuguese in their area was the production of timber, for factories in Angola or in Portugal. During the anti-colonial war, 1961–1974, and especially during the
Civil War in Angola The Angolan Civil War ( pt, Guerra Civil Angolana) was a civil war in Angola, beginning in 1975 and continuing, with interludes, until 2002. The war began immediately after Angola became independent from Portugal in November 1975. The war was ...
, some of these groups were affected to a greater or lesser degree, although their active involvement was rather limited.;;Inge Brinkman, ''A War for People: Civilians, Mobility and Legitimacy in South-East Angola during the MPLA's War for Independence'', Cologne: Rüdiger Köppe Verlag, 2005 As a consequence, many took refuge in neighbouring Zambia and (to a lesser degree) Namibia. In particular, almost half of the Mbunda settled in Western Zambia, but this people maintains an overall cohesion through their traditional authorities both in Angola and Zambia.



* Hermann Baumann: ''Die Völker Afrikas und ihre traditionellen Kulturen''. Teil 1 ''Allgemeiner Teil und südliches Afrika'', Steiner, Wiesbaden, 1975–1979 {{authority control Ethnic groups in Angola