1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Kabinda

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KABINDA, a Portuguese possession on the west coast of Africa north of the mouth of the Congo. Westwards it borders the Atlantic, N. and N.E. French Congo, S. and S.E. Belgian Congo. It has a coast-line of 93 m., extends inland, at its greatest breadth, 70 m., and has an area of about 3000 sq. m. In its physical features, flora, fauna and inhabitants, it resembles the coast region of French Congo (q.v.). The only considerable river is the Chiloango, which in part forms the boundary between Portuguese and Belgian territory, and in its lower course divides Kabinda into two fairly even portions. The mouth of the river is in 5° 12′ S., 12° 5′ E. The chief town, named Kabinda, is a seaport on the right bank of the small river Bele, in 5° 33′ S., 12° 10′ E.; pop. about 10,000. From the beauty of its situation, and the fertility of the adjacent country, it has been called the paradise of the coast. The harbour is sheltered and commodious, with anchorage in four fathoms. Kabinda was formerly a noted slave mart. Farther north are the ports of Landana and Massabi. Between Kabinda and Landana is Molembo at the head of a small bay of the same name. There is a considerable trade in palm oil, ground nuts and other jungle produce, largely in the hands of British and German firms.

The possession of the enclave of Kabinda by Portugal is a result of the efforts made by that nation during the last quarter of the 19th century to obtain sovereignty over both banks of the lower Congo. Whilst Portugal succeeded in obtaining the southern bank of the river to the limit of navigability from the sea, the northern bank became part of the Congo Free State (see Africa, § 5). Portuguese claims to the north of the river were, however, to some extent met by the recognition of her right to Kabinda. The southernmost part of Kabinda is 25 m. (following the coast-line) north of the mouth of the Congo. This district as far north as the Chiloango river (and including the adjacent territory of Belgian Congo) is sometimes spoken of as Kacongo. The name Loango (q.v.) was also applied to this region as well as to the coast-lands immediately to the north. Administratively Kabinda forms a division of the Congo district of the province of Angola (q.v.). The inhabitants are Bantu negroes who are called Kabindas. They are an intelligent, energetic and enterprising people, daring sailors and active traders.