January 6, 2013

What's the difference between Kwanzaa and Kwanza?

Kwanzaa is that religionish holiday we were just talking about. Kwanza is the unit of currency in Angola, our "History of" country today. Before getting to the history of Angola, I pause to think of the holidays we could invent by taking the names of the world currencies. Here's a list of the currencies currently circulating in the world. Following the Kwanzaa model, you could add a letter or change the word slightly as you take off on your flight of inspirational fancy. Now, what should we do for Dollaro? Worship the Almighty Dollar is a common enough phrase.



But let's get back to the history of Anglola, as quickly scanned via the "History of Angola" Wikipedia page, in accordance with our 206-day project. The name Angola comes from "N'gola," the Kimbundu word for king.

The first ones to settle were the Bushmen, great hunters, similar to Pygmies in stature. This changed at the beginning of the sixth century AD, when the Bantu, already in possession of metal-working technology, ceramics and agriculture began one of the greatest migrations in history.... The first large political entity in the area, known to history as the Kingdom of Kongo, appeared in the thirteenth century and stretched from Gabon in the north to the river Kwanza in the south, and from the Atlantic in the west to the river Cuango in the east....
In 1482, the Portuguese arrived:
The Portuguese colony of Angola was founded in 1575 with the arrival of Paulo Dias de Novais with a hundred families of colonists and four hundred soldiers. Luanda was granted the status of city in 1605....

After undertaking various journeys [Queen Jinga] succeeded in 1635 in forming a grand coalition with the states of Matamba and Ndongo, Kongo, Kassanje, Dembos and Kissamas. At the head of this formidable alliance, she forced the Portuguese to retreat.

Meanwhile, Portugal had lost its King and the Spanish took control of the Portuguese monarchy....  Jinga entered into an alliance with the Dutch...  In 1648, after Portugal has regained its independence from the Spanish rulers... a large Portuguese force from Brazil under the command of Salvador Correia de Sá retook Luanda, leading to the return of the Portuguese in large numbers.
The Portuguese took over again and stayed until 1975, after a coup d'etat in Portugal that installed President António de Spínola.
The Spínola government agreed to give all of Portugal's colonies independence, and handed power in Angola over to a coalition of the three largest separatist movements, the MPLA, UNITA, and the FNLA, through the Alvor Agreement. The coalition quickly broke down, however, and the country descended into civil war....
Cuba involved itself, and the U.S. had difficulties with that involvement. An accord was signed in 1988 and another in 1991. There were democratic elections, but the results were questioned and more war followed. It seems that the conflict ended 2002.

23 comments:

kentuckyliz said...

Europeans colonizing Africa failed because they didn't conduct a genocide of the natives like we did here in Murka.

edutcher said...

The difference is Kwanza is real, Kwanzaa is phony.

Mitchell the Bat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mitchell the Bat said...

Look for inflation jokes to make a comeback.

Chef Mojo said...

Nice segue, Althouse.

Bob Boyd said...

To be Franc, I get a Yen to Pound a few then eat a big Dinar to Mark Dollaro.

Balfegor said...

China is quite active in Angola these days. They strenuously maintain that they have no colonial designs on Africa, however, and I take them at their word. Governing an African country really seems like much more trouble than it could possibly be worth, when you can obtain all their natural resources more easily though bribery.

betamax3000 said...

Angola: scratchy blankets. I would imagine most former colonies are Scratchy Blanket countries.

FleetUSA said...

Angola was the first African country I ever visited and on the first day I was amazed to see a worker in a yard cutting grass with a pair of shears.

YoungHegelian said...

@Kentuckliz,

Europeans colonizing Africa failed because they didn't conduct a genocide of the natives like we did here in Murka.

The big difference between New World & African colonizations is that Africa was always involved in Asian & Mediterranean trade routes, so they had already been exposed & had immunity to old world diseases. Matter of fact, it was the African diseases that protected much of inland Africa from exploitation.

How did 300 conquistadores conquer the Aztecs? With the help of completely unintended germ warfare, that's how. And if they had come over calling themselves the "Let's-have-tea-and-cookies"-dores the results would have been the same.

lemondog said...

The Amero has been suggested for some time= The North American Currency Union is a proposed economic and monetary union of three North American countries: Canada, the United States and Mexico.

Of course with the crazed Fed and its QE rather than the Amero I would suggest the Zero.

betamax3000 said...

Angola, according to the CIA World Factbook:

Major infectious diseases: degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria, African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness)
water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2009)

Pay special notice to the vectorborne disease trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness).

Trypanosomiasis = Scratchy blankets.

ironrailsironweights said...

One of the world's major demographic trends involves people leaving poorer Third World countries and immigrating to the more affluent countries of Europe and North America. Angola is just about the only example of that trend operating in reverse. About 10 million people live in Portugal. More than 100,000 of them, equivalent to 1% of the population, have moved to Angola.

Peter

cubanbob said...

Thank God my family immigrated. Otherwise I would have been volunteered to do my international fraternal socialist duty and serve in a combat unit in the veldt. Savimbi to the left and the Boer's to right all the while protecting protecting the Gulf Oil Company's installations.

The joke among Cubans at the time was that Cuba was the largest country in the world. The Army was in Africa, the people in Miami and New Jersey and the government in Moscow.

However if one was smart enough to go big into the Pioneers, sprout all the right Marxist nonsense and were allowed to join the communist party you could avoid going into a combat unit. Sort of like Nam where those who had the right connections found themselves in cushy, safe deployments in Saigon except that in the Cuban version it would have been in either Luanda or Maputo.

traditionalguy said...

The Global Warmists are targeting developing African countries such as Angola to accept eternal poverty of a CO2 free energy system to stop the Global Warming.

Angolans say back to that, "where's the money?"

No one is saying back, "You fools, the atmosphere is cooling so fast that if CO2 actually warmed the planet, then the Africans would need to burn all the coal and oil they can to save the northern arc countries from freezing to death.

McTriumph said...

Isn't Angola the African country that had the three party, quarter century civil war to determine which tribe would control the oil and have exclusive rights to loot the country?

Ululating Umlungu said...

You'll need lots of Kwanza to survive in Angola's capital, Luanda, as it's amongst the most expensive cities in the world. This is due to a combination of oil money, trade barriers and corruption. When I was in the city last year, rent for a modest two bedroom apartment averaged $7 000. Other prices I remember were $22 for a hamburger, $4.50 per litre of milk, and $ 250 for a dress which retails for a tenth of the price in South Africa. Half the population live below the poverty line.

Mitch H. said...

How did 300 conquistadores conquer the Aztecs? With the help of completely unintended germ warfare, that's how. And if they had come over calling themselves the "Let's-have-tea-and-cookies"-dores the results would have been the same.

How did a couple thousand Spaniards destroy the Aztecs? By leading an armed revolt of hundreds of thousands of the Aztecs' subjected and abused enemies, with Western military tactics. The fall of the Aztecs was a popular revolt, the fruit of decades of truly sickening abuse of their neighbors, mostly for religious reasons. Now, after the Aztecs were dead, *then* disease allowed the Spaniards to subject their former allies in turn. But the overthrow of the Mexica was a true military victory.

Angola, damn. I was just reading a book on the Great War of Africa, and the Angolan involvement in the Congolese wars. Mubutu had been one of Savimbi's primary supporters, and the government of Angola wanted to cut off his cross-border refuges by helping overthrow Mubutu and installing a more favorable government in the Congo. The Angolan military was heavily involved in the plundering of Congolese resource-extraction industries.

One of the weird things about the Angolan oil fields is that the currently-exploited ones are mostly situated in Cabinda, a province separated from the rest of Angola by the Congo's narrow strip of land along the Atlantic.

Balfegor said...

Re:Umlungu:

You'll need lots of Kwanza to survive in Angola's capital, Luanda, as it's amongst the most expensive cities in the world. This is due to a combination of oil money, trade barriers and corruption. When I was in the city last year, rent for a modest two bedroom apartment averaged $7 000. Other prices I remember were $22 for a hamburger, $4.50 per litre of milk, and $ 250 for a dress which retails for a tenth of the price in South Africa. Half the population live below the poverty line.

That's always puzzled me about these places -- how do ordinary people live there then? They're not the richest people on Earth after all.

My suspicion is that the price index just doesn't work very well at taking into account the available substitutes for lower-income levels. E.g. Tokyo is regularly ranked as one of the most expensive cities to live in, but I can see how you could live comfortably there on an average income. The equivalent quality product or housing or whatever might be much more expensive in Tokyo than in, say, Washington DC, but the cheaper substitutes are also often a lot nicer than the substitutes available in DC (much safer too, for housing).

But how does it work for the Angolans?

Ululating Umlungu said...

Balfegor, you’re correct, the prices I quoted aren’t really going to affect the majority of Luandans who live in shacks and who shop at markets in the bairros. It’s mainly the expatriate community which is faced with exorbitant prices. A small clique of people connected to the ruling Dos Santos family run the economy and keep prices artificially high. Recently, however, food and clothing prices have started to inch down with the arrival of South African and Brazilian supermarket chains.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

For the curious (I know you're out there), this is how Babelfish translates our Arabic spammer...

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How do you say WTF in Arabic?

Chuck Currie said...

I say Portugal was a pretty nasty colonial power. And now, without forced labor to prop up its government piggy bank, it's broke.

There's a lesson in there somewhere.

Cheers

P.S. If it wasn't for the support provided by the Angolan crown, the Portuguese slave trade would have gone bust.

BarryD said...

We've had no rain in several days (Hasa Diga Eebowai!)
And eighty percent of us have AIDS (Hasa Diga Eebowai!)
When the young ones here get circumcised
Their clits get cut right off (Way oh!)
And so we say up to the sky
Hasa Diga Eebowai!
Hasa Diga Eebowai!
Hasa Diga Eebowai!