Dutch Loango-Angola

Dutch Loango-Angola
Dutch colony
Flag Coat of arms
The city of Luanda by Johannes Vingboons (1665)
Capital Luanda
Languages Dutch (official)
Kongo, Chokwe, Umbundu, Kimbundu, Ngangela, Kwanyama, Lingala
Religion Dutch Reformed, African traditional religion
Political structure Colony
  1641-1642 Pieter Moorthamer
  1642-1648 Cornelis Hendrikszoon Ouman
   Capture of Luanda 26 August 1641
   Recapture of Luanda 21 August 1648
Currency Dutch guilder
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Portuguese Angola
Portuguese Angola
Today part of  Angola
 Republic of the Congo

Loango-Angola is the name for the possessions of the Dutch West India Company in contemporary Angola and the Republic of the Congo. Notably, the name refers to the colony that was occupied from the Portuguese between 1641 and 1648. After Angola was recaptured by the Portuguese in 1648, Dutch trade with Loango-Angola did not stop, however. From about 1670 onward, the Dutch West India Company acquired slaves from the Loango region on a regular basis, and Dutch free traders continued this practice until after 1730.[1]

Due to the distance between Luanda and Elmina, the capital of the Dutch Gold Coast, a separate administration for "Africa South" was established at Luanda during the period of the Dutch occupation.[2]


Early attempts (1624)

As part of the Groot Desseyn plan, the Dutch West India Company, which had been founded in 1621, tried to capture Luanda after they had successfully captured Salvador da Bahia, the capital of Brazil. Under the leadership of Piet Hein, a Dutch fleet tried to capture Luanda in 1624, but failed, because Filips van Zuylen had tried to capture the city a few months earlier as well, leading the Portuguese to build reinforcements.

After Piet Hein captured the Spanish treasure fleet in 1628, the Dutch West India Company once again tried to set the Groot Desseyn plan in motion. With plenty of resources to pay for their military expenditure, the Dutch successfully captured Recife and Olinda, the core region of Brazilian sugar cane plantations, in early 1630.

Capture of Luanda (1641)

Main article: Capture of Luanda

In 1641, a Dutch fleet under the command of Cornelis Jol, seized Luanda from the Portuguese. Dutch forces took control of Luanda and signed a treaty with Queen Nzinga of the Ndongo Kingdom. Nzinga unsuccessfully attacked the Portuguese at Massangano. She recruited new fighters and prepared to engage the Portuguese in battle again, but Salvador Correia de Sá led Portuguese forces from Brazil in expelling the Dutch and reasserting control in Angola. Nzinga's forces retreated to Matamba again.[3]

The Dutch ruled Angola from August 26, 1641 to August 21/24, 1648, occupying the coastal areas (under a governor of Dutch West India Company) of Angola. This attack was the culmination of a plan first proposed by Kongo's King Pedro II in 1622. After the Dutch fleet under Admiral Cornelis Jol took Luanda, the Portuguese withdrew to the Bengo River, but following the renewal of the Kongo-Dutch alliance, Bengo was attacked and subsequently Portuguese forces withdrew to Massangano. The Dutch were not interested in conquering Angola, much to the chagrin of Kongo's king Garcia II and Njinga who had both pressed them to assist in driving the Portuguese from the colony. However, Dutch authorities came to realize that they could not monopolize the slave trade from Angola just by holding Luanda and a few nearby places, and moreover, the Portuguese sent several relief expeditions to Massangano from Brazil. Consequently, in 1647, the agreed to reinforce Njinga's army following her defeat by Portuguese forces in 1646. At the Battle of Kombi Dutch and Njinga's armies crushed a Portuguese army and in its aftermath laid siege to Ambaca, Massangano and Muxima.


  1. Postma 1990, p. 101.
  2. Postma 1990, p. 60.
  3. Fage 1986, p. 354.


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