Ngounié Province in Gabon
|Coordinates: 1°36′S 11°0′E / 1.600°S 11.000°ECoordinates: 1°36′S 11°0′E / 1.600°S 11.000°E|
|• Total||37,750 km2 (14,580 sq mi)|
|Population (2013 census)|
|• Density||2.7/km2 (6.9/sq mi)|
The province is named after the River Ngounié, which crosses it with its many tributaries.
In December 1858 the French explorer Paul Du Chaillu navigated the Nguoiné river upstream to Fougamou. On his journey, he met several local tribes whom he described in his diaries on his second voyage. Later, Catholic missions were built in Mandji, Sindara, and Saint Martin, whose architecture attracts many tourists.
The geography varies from large expanses of savannah and forest to the Monts de Cristal in the north to the Chaillu and Ikoundou ranges further south. Steep sloping mountains abut plains and dense forests, savannah, lakes, and rich farmland.
Estimated at 101,415 inhabitants, the population of the Ngounié includes significant ethnic diversity including Eshira, Apindjis, Punu, Tsogo, Nzebi, Massango, Vungu and Eviya, who immigrated to Gabon in successive waves, and have lived together peacefully for many centuries.
All of these ethnic groups are Bantu.
Ethnic group and number of inhabitants
- Punu-Eshira: 35260
- Nzebi-Dyma: 22260
- Okandé-Tsogho: 11815
- Kota-Kélé: 2435
Traditional social and religious organizations are still very present in the daily life of the province, especially Bwiti and Ndjembé (female secret society).
Legends and myths
Popular legends say that the province of Ngounié is protected by several genies. Thus the sirens Ipeti and Mougoumi, female genies living in Dola and Ngounié respectively, would according to legend be the protectors of Ndendé and Mouila. Tsamba, a male genie, and Magotsi, a female genie, would be the protectors of Fougamou, which they watch over from the top of the Empress Eugenie Falls. These genies are the symbolic protectors of the departments of the province. They inspire fear and respect from the inhabitants, who honor the genies by throwing coins and pouring liquor into the rivers they cross.
- Nyanga - south
- Ogooué-Maritime - west
- Moyen-Ogooué - north
- Ogooué-Ivindo - northeast, at a quadripoint
- Ogooué-Lolo - east
Ngounié is divided into 9 departments:
- Boumi-Louetsi Department (Mbigou)
- Dola Department (Ndendé)
- Douya-Onoy Department (Mouila)
- Louetsi-Wano Department (Lebamba)
- Ndolou Department (Mandji)
- Ogoulou Department (Mimongo)
- Tsamba-Magotsi Department (Fougamou)
- Louetsi-Bibaka Department (Malinga)
- Mougalaba Department (Guietsou)
- "Communiqué final du conseil des ministres du 11 février 2016". gabonactu.com (in French). February 12, 2016.
- "Ngounié". gabonbusiness.com (in French).
- Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE), United States Agency for International Development, via University of Maryland. Lopé-Chaillu-Louesse Landscape (PDF). p. 139.
- DiBADY MADENDI, Eric Gilles (1998). ETUDE DU MYTHE DU TSAMBA ET MAGOTSI SUR LA CONNAISSANCE DE LA METTALURGIE DU FER DANS LA REGION DE SINDARA-FOUGAMOU AU GABON (Thesis). Groupe interuniversitaire d’études et de recherches sur les sociétés africaines. Retrieved November 17, 2016.