Bakongo (also known as Mkongo or Mukongo). In one of the Bantu languages, Kongo, the word “Ba” means “People” while “Kongo” according to an adventure means “Hunter” while according to others it means “Gathering” or “Mountains”. There is yet to a decisive context for it. Even the term “Congo” was a term used to refer to black people who spoke “Kikongo” in Cuba, America. The Bakongo people speak Kinkongo language which also compromises of 9 other language variations for different sub-branches of the Bantu tree; for example the Kivil dialect by the north coast, the Kisansolo in the central dialect, amongst others.
The 13th – 14th century saw the creation, transition, and building of the great Kingdom of Kongo. The kingdom succession was based on voting by the noble of the land which kept the king’s lineage among royalty. In the late 14th century, what was supposed to be a quick stop for the
Image from Vortex Mag
Portuguese became the end of a kingdom.https://www.jstor.org/stable/1775621?seq=1
Allegedly, the Portuguese were in search of a route to India for opportunities when one Diego Cao found the river Congo. Moving south he and his companions found the people of Kongo in an organized system; valuable currency, trading relations, transport infrastructure, port settlements, and open-minded people.
The people of Kongo accepted them and even the king willingly accepted Christianity in a show of solidarity with these new people. Once a man, Chief Muanda, warned the people of the coming doom of slavery of the Bakugo clan which will destroy the kingdom, he said it will begin with the visitation of foreigners but people choose what they want to see even though he was later right. By the 19th century; the Kingdom of Kongo had completely fallen, the Bakongo people had fully divided and spread across different parts of the continent.
The Bankongo people are the third-largest group in Angola but in the 17th century, they lost a war to Portuguese during the repression. They moved throughout the continent occupying the northern regions of places like Cabinda, Congo, Angola and Zaire. In the 20th century, the Bakongo created a political party called the Union of Angolan Peoples (UPA) in an attempt to bring back all the Bakongo people, eventually, they decided an independent country filled with different tribes was much better for their society. Soon after that decision, they fought along the Ovimbundu and the Mbundu people for a better Angola.
In 1975, Angola gained its independence with a lot of Bakongo people being the faces for the win but as soon as the Mbundu people took over the ruling power there was discrimination among all three tribes. In the present time, their largest numbers are in Congo and though they’ve been through a lot, they have kept some of their cultural practices.