Pende - History and Cultural Relations

There is no memory of being led solely by one great chief of the Pende in Angola, where they were subjects of sovereigns such as Ngola and Kasanji. Fleeing from slave raids carried out by Lunda chiefs like Mwata Kombana, their neighbor, who claimed to be their suzerain, the Pende emigrated from the area of the Cuanza and upper Kwango. They did not recognize the suzerainty of Mwata Kombana because he could not defend them from Cokwe invaders. At first retreating from the Cokwe, the Pende became refugees among the Mbun; in 1892 the Pende, with the help of the Mbun, defeated the Cokwe and took back their original territory. The arrival of European colonists ended hostilities and any Lunda claim of suzerainty. Certain elements of precolonial relations remain, however, as evidenced by Lunda-Pende marriages, Pende who were retained as slaves among the Cokwe, and mixed Pende-Mbun villages in the north.

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