Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Cabinda, the dominant nation in the Kakongo district on the north side of the Congo estuary. They are a branch of the Congo people, with whom they inherit the traditions of European culture, introduced by the early Portuguese missionaries. The port of Cabinda, to which they give their name, is one of the most industrious places on the west coast of Africa, supplying the best artisans and the best sailors on the whole seaboard. Here are found excellent blacksmiths, masons, joiners, and carpenters, who build the so-called palhabotes, small seaworthy vessels, which carry on most of the coasting trade between the Gaboon and Mossamedes. Their religion is a curious mixture of Christian and Pagan rites, baptism and processions headed by the crucifix being combined with circumcision and witchcraft, while the great goddess Nzambi is confounded with the Virgin Mary or the Earth, "Mother of all." She is represented by a terrible fetish, who strikes dead those guilty of eating forbidden meats, obviously a reminiscence of the Roman Catholic days of abstinence. Many of the Ba-Fyots, i.e. "Blacks," as they are also called, bear Portuguese names, and the chiefs are attended by officials with titles and functions introduced by the Portuguese over 300 years ago.