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The Transatlantic Slave Trade
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Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division

Olfert Dapper, Description de l'Afrique, contenant les noms, la situation & les confins de toutes ses parties (Amsterdam: Wolfgang, Waesberge, Boom & van Someren, 1686)


The Portuguese first arrived in Kongo in 1482, at the court of King Nzinga Kuwu, who reigned over parts of what are now the republics of Congo and Angola. He became the first Catholic king south of the equator, converting in 1491 (although he later went back to his former religion). By the sixteenth century, Portugal had established commercial and religious relations with Kongo. Some young men studied at monasteries in Italy, and Kongo and Rome exchanged ambassadors. But equal relations did not last long, and Kongo was undermined by the spread of slave trading.

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