History of Angola Timeline 1975
Angola history: Angola is a country in southwestern Africa, bordered by Namibia to the south, Zambia to the east, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. It has a complex and turbulent history, driven by the struggle for power and resources.
What was Angola called before?
Angola was previously known as Portuguese West Africa (Portuguese: África Ocidental Portuguesa) before gaining independence from Portugal in 1975.
Prehistory of Angola
The prehistory of Angola spans more than three million years and is rich in evidence of hominid activity. The earliest known fossils of Homo sapiens found in Africa were discovered in the Kalambo Falls region of Northern Zambia in the 1970s.
There are also many rock art sites in Angola that date back to the Pleistocene period. Some of these sites feature geometric shapes, while others depict animals and humans engaged in activities such as hunting, dancing, and fighting.
The region was also home to numerous prehistoric cultures, including the Khoisan people, who lived in Angola for thousands of years before the arrival of Bantu-speaking peoples. The Khoisan were hunter-gatherers who made extensive use of the land for food and materials.
Around 2000 BCE, Bantu-speaking people began migrating into the region from the Central African Plateau. They brought with them agricultural practices and iron-working technology, which allowed them to settle in more permanent villages and establish complex political and social systems.
Many of these early Bantu kingdoms were eventually absorbed into the Luba Empire, which was centered in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Luba Empire had a significant influence on the development of culture and society in Angola and other parts of Southern Africa, and it is still remembered today through oral traditions and cultural practices.
The precolonial history of Angola is a diverse and complex tapestry that reflects the long and rich heritage of the region’s many peoples and cultures.
Early history Angola
Angola’s history dates back to prehistoric times, but little is known about its early inhabitants. The Khoisan peoples were likely the earliest known settlers, and Bantu-speaking tribes from northern Africa subsequently migrated into the region.
In the 15th century, Portuguese explorer Diogo Cão became the first European to discover Angola’s coastline. The Portuguese soon established trading posts and began exporting slaves and ivory from the region. By the 16th century, Angola had become one of the world’s largest suppliers of slaves.
In the late 1800s, Portugal consolidated its control over Angola, which became a colony in 1910. Struggles for independence began in the 1950s, culminating in a long and bloody civil war that lasted from 1975 to 2002. During this time, various nationalist and rebel groups fought against the Portuguese colonial authorities and each other, leading to extensive violence, displacement, and human suffering.
Throughout much of its history, Angola has been shaped by the conflict between native populations and the influence and exploitation of outside powers. Today, the country remains one of the world’s poorest and most underdeveloped nations, although recent economic growth has led to some progress in reducing poverty and improving livelihoods.
How did Angola get its name?
The origin of the name Angola is uncertain, but it is thought to have derived from the title ngola held by kings of the Ndongo kingdom. The Portuguese first encountered the Ndongo kingdom in the late 16th century and began referring to the region as Angola, which eventually became the name for the entire territory.
Pre-Colonial Period: People have lived in the territory now called Angola for thousands of years. The San people, also known as the “bushmen,” were the earliest inhabitants, followed by Bantu-speaking tribes who migrated from the north and settled in the area around the 16th century.
Who colonized Angola
- colonial history of Angola
Angola’s colonial history began in the late 1400s when Portuguese explorers arrived and claimed the land for their empire. The Portuguese established trading posts along the coast and began engaging in the slave trade, which became Angola’s primary industry for centuries.
In the late 1800s, the Portuguese declared Angola a colony and began to exert more control over the territory. They established a central government and expanded their influence into the interior.
During the early 20th century, Angola experienced significant economic growth due to the rise in demand for rubber, coffee, and diamonds. However, this growth benefited only the Portuguese colonizers and not the local population, who faced forced labor, exploitation, and discrimination.
In the 1950s and 1960s, nationalist movements calling for independence sprang up in Angola. The most prominent of these was the Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola (MPLA), led by Agostinho Neto. Other nationalist groups included the União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA) and the Frente Nacional de Libertação de Angola (FNLA).
In 1975, the Portuguese government agreed to grant Angola independence, and the three nationalist groups formed a coalition government. However, the coalition quickly broke down, leading to a civil war that lasted for over two decades. During this period, Angola received significant support from the Soviet Union and other socialist countries, while the United States and its allies backed UNITA.
The war finally came to an end in 2002, following the death of UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi. The MPLA has remained in power since then, and Angola has experienced significant economic growth due to its oil reserves. However, the country remains plagued by corruption and inequality, and many Angolans continue to struggle with poverty and unemployment.
Colonial Period (1482-1975): Portuguese explorers arrived in Angola in 1482 and established a colony, which they ruled for over 400 years. They forced the local people to work on plantations and mines, leading to a history of slavery and exploitation of natural resources. In the 20th century, Angola became a battleground for the Cold War, as the Soviet Union and the United States lent support to opposing political factions.
Independence (1975): Angola gained independence from Portugal in 1975, but this led to a civil war that lasted for over 25 years. The struggle for power between the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) resulted in millions of casualties and widespread destruction.
Post-Civil War (2002- present): The end of the civil war in 2002 marked a turning point in Angola’s history. The MPLA, led by President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, has remained in power, overseeing a period of rapid economic growth based on oil and diamond exports. Despite this growth, Angola’s wealth has not trickled down to the majority of the population, and poverty remains a major problem.
Additionally, Angola has experienced ongoing social and political turmoil, including allegations of corruption, human rights abuses, and a growing youth movement seeking democratic reforms.
A short history of modern angola
Modern Angola is a country with a turbulent history shaped by colonialism, civil war, and economic instability. Angola gained independence from Portugal in 1975, after a long and violent struggle against Portuguese colonial rule.
However, this was quickly followed by a bitter civil war that lasted for 27 years, with two rival factions fighting for control of the country: the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA).
The war caused significant damage to the country’s economy and infrastructure, leading to severe poverty and political instability. Millions of people were displaced or killed, and large parts of the country were devastated.
In 2002, the MPLA government finally defeated UNITA, bringing an end to the civil war. However, the country still faced major challenges, including widespread corruption and economic inequality.
Since then, Angola has made some progress towards stability and development. Economic growth has been driven by natural resources such as diamonds, oil, and gas, but challenges remain in terms of diversifying the economy and reducing poverty.
The country also saw a historic transition of power in 2017, when former president José Eduardo dos Santos stepped down after 38 years in power. His successor, João Lourenço, has promised reforms to combat corruption and improve the country’s economy.
Overall, modern Angola has a complex history marked by colonialism, civil war, and economic challenges. While progress has been made, the country still faces many obstacles as it strives for stability and development in the years ahead.
Culture and Fashion of Angola
Angolan culture is an amalgamation of various ethnic influences, including the Bantu people, Kongo people, and Mbundu people. The country has a rich history and cultural heritage dating back to pre-colonial times. The traditional Angolan culture is diverse and complex, with music, dance, and oral traditions deeply ingrained in everyday life. The Angolan people are hospitable and friendly, and their culture places a high value on respect for elders, family, and community.
Angolan fashion is a fusion of Western and African styles, creating a unique blend of modernity and tradition. The country has a growing fashion industry, with designers creating edgy and modern clothing, which represents the country’s diversity.
The traditional “capulana” dress, a colorful wrap-around skirt, is one of the most iconic Angolan garments for women. Men typically wear trousers, shirts, and jackets, but traditional clothing also includes the “capote,” a ceremonial coat in which Angolan warriors once dressed. In urban areas, hip-hop and street styles are also popular among young people.
Overall, Angola has a vibrant culture and fashion scene that’s constantly evolving and incorporating new influences.