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Brave men of black skin: war and power in Angola in the 17th century

Grant number: 20/09313-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2021
Effective date (End): November 30, 2022
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History
Principal researcher:Silvia Hunold Lara
Grantee:Guilherme Oliveira da Silva
Home Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil

Abstract

This project investigates the power relations between Central Africans and Europeans in Central Africa in the 17th century. During this period, the strife between the Kingdoms of Kongo, Ndongo, Kasanje and Matamba, among others, was reconfigured by the European presence in the region since the end of the 15th century. The research focuses on the relationships among the various Central African states and between them and the Portuguese, in their conflicts over people, territories and resources.The analysis emphazies wars, as armed conflicts occupied a central place in the struggles for power in this period of Central African history. The formation of armies, the hierarchy of commands, the strategies of struggle and military alliances between the various troops involved, will be studied, giving priority to the region of Angola. It is a matter of examining, in particular, the complexity of the so-called "black army", generally understood by historiography as simple contingents of men assigned by sobas vassals who fought with the Portuguese military groups. As an element of articulation between Central Africans and Portuguese, the "black army" becomes a key element to analyze the intricacies of power relations in Central Africa in the 17th century, and discuss the dimensions of colonialism and Central African policies before it. The research will be conducted focusing on the formation and performance of the "black army" in some specific battles: against Jinga, in 1626; in Sengas de Cavanga, in 1646; Ambuíla, in 1665; and Pungo Andongo, in 1671. (AU)

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