Friday 14 June 2024


The Chokwe people are an ethnic group of Central and Southern Africa. They are found primarily in Angola 🇦🇴 southwest parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo 🇨🇩 (Kinshasa to Lualaba), and northwestern parts of Zambia 🇿🇲 

The Chokwe, with an estimated population of 1.3 million people.

The Chokwe were once one of the twelve clans of the Lunda Empire in 17th and 18th century Angola.

Chokwe origin are said to be traced to the Mbundu and Mbuti Pygmies of Congo 🇨🇩

The Chokwe grow cassava, maize, yams, and peanuts. Sheep, goats, pigs, and chickens are kept as livestock.

Mwana pwo (young woman) masks, danced by Chokwe men at festivals for entertainment, are said to bestow increased fertility on the spectators. The masks represent female ancestors depicted as beautiful young women.

The traditional spiritual beliefs of the Chokwe center around ancestor spirits worship. In groups where chiefs exist, they are considered the representative of god Kalunga/ Nzambi, therefore revered and called Mwanangana or “overseer of the land.” With the colonial era, Chowke converted to Christianity yet the original beliefs were retained to produce a syncretism of beliefs and practices. They are another tribe which fused a colonial religion with their own indigenous spiritual practises. 

The Chokwe see Kalunga/ Nzambi the god of creation and supreme power, as well as of nature and mahamba (ancestral spirits). neglecting these spirits is sure to result in personal or collective misfortune. Evil spirits may also be activated by wanga (sorcerers) to cause illness, and this must be counteracted to regain health. The most common form of divination among the Chokwe is basket divination, which consists of the tossing of up to sixty individual objects in a basket. 

Male initiation sees young boys taken into the bush for a period of time. As the weeks go on, older men begin to train them in occupational tasks, as well as verbal abilities, sex education, psychological management techniques, and other skills they will need to be adult males and useful citizens. #Angola #Congo #Zambia

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