Kimbundu, or North Mbundu, one of two Bantu languages called Mbundu (see Umbundu), is the second-most-widely spoken Bantu language in Angola. It is concentrated in the north-west of the country, notably in the Luanda Province, Bengo Province, Malanje Province and the Cuanza Norte Province. It is spoken by the Ambundu.[4]

North Mbundu
Native toAngola
RegionLuanda Province, Bengo Province , Malanje Province
Native speakers
2.1 million (2014)[1]
  • Kimbundu proper (Ngola)
  • Mbamba (Njinga)
Official status
Official language in
 Angola ("National language")
Language codes
ISO 639-2kmb
ISO 639-3kmb



Bilabial Labial Dental Alveolar Post-
Velar Glottal
Stop plain p t k
voiced b
prenasalized ᵐb ⁿd
Fricative voiceless f s ʃ h
voiced v z ʒ
prenasalized ᶬv ⁿz ⁿʒ
Lateral l
Nasal m n ŋ


[ɸ] and [β] are allophones of /p/ and /b/, respectively, before /a/ and /u/. The phoneme /l/ is phonetically a flap [ɾ], the plosive [d] or its palatalized version [dʲ] before the front high vowel /i/. In the same way, the alveolars /s/, /z/ and /n/ are palatalized to [ʃ], [ʒ] and [ɲ], respectively, before [i]. There may be an epenthesis of [g] after /ŋ/ in word medial positions, thus creating a phonetic cluster [ŋg] in a process of fortition.

There is long distance nasal harmony, in which /l/ is realized as [n] if the previous morphemes contain /m/ or /n/, but not prenasalized stops.


Front Back
Close i u
Mid e o
Open a

There are two contrasting tones: a high (á) and a low tone (à). There is also a downstep in cases of tonal sandhi.

Vowel Harmony

There is vowel harmony in two groups: the high vowels /i, u/ and the mid and low vowels /e, o, a/. This vowel harmony only applies on the verbal morphology. In some morphemes, vowels may be consistently deleted to avoid hiatuses.



  1. ^ "The World Factbook — Central Intelligence Agency". Retrieved 2018-08-14.
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Kimbundu". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Jouni Filip Maho, 2009. New Updated Guthrie List Online
  4. ^ Ambundu is the short form for Akwa Mbundu and 'Akwa' means 'from', or 'of', or more originally 'originally from' and 'belonging to'. In Kimbundu language the particle Akwa is shortened into simply A, so that instead of Akwa Mbndu it becomes Ambundu; similarly the term Akwa Ngola becomes ANgola, then Angola; Ngola was title for kings in Northern Angolan kingdom in the past, before the Portuguese invasion.
  5. ^ Da Silva Xavier, Francisco (2010). Fonologia Segmental e Supra-Segmental do Quimbundo.

External links


Ambriz is a village and municipality in Bengo Province, Angola. It is located 127 km from the town of Caxito. It borders the municipality of N'zeto, Zaire Province, to the North and the municipality of Dande, to the South.

The population of Ambriz totals 20,000, of whom the majority are Bakongo; there are also Portuguese descendants, and people of mixed Portuguese-African ancestry. The population includes people of the Ovimbundu and Kimbundu ethnic groups.

Fishing is the traditional activity and low-scale agricultural activity. In the past, Ambriz had an oil and gas platform assembly yard (PETROMAR), which was destroyed during warfare in 1992. The base is being reconstructed. In 2007, an Angolan-Portuguese company announced plans to build a biodiesel plant to be fueled by palm oil.

The village has a small port and an airport with an unpaved runway.


The Northern Mbundu or Ambundu (distinct from the Southern Mbundu or Ovimbundu) are a Bantu people living in Angola's North-West, North of the river Kwanza. The Ambundu speak Kimbundu, and mostly also the official language of the country, Portuguese. They are the second biggest ethnic group in the country, with 2.4 million people in the latest count

The Ambundu nowadays live in the region stretching to the East from Angola's capital city of Luanda (see map). They are predominant in the Bengo and Malanje provinces and in neighbouring parts of the Cuanza Norte and Cuanza Sul provinces. The head of the main Mbundu kingdom was called a Ngola, which is the origin of the name of the country Angola.


Angola ( (listen); Portuguese: [ɐ̃ˈɡɔlɐ]), officially the Republic of Angola (Portuguese: República de Angola; Kikongo, Kimbundu and Umbundu: Repubilika ya Ngola), is a west-coast country of south-central Africa. It is the seventh-largest country in Africa, bordered by Namibia to the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Zambia to the east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Angola has an exclave province, the province of Cabinda that borders the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The capital and largest city of Angola is Luanda.

The territory of Angola has been inhabited since the Paleolithic Era, hosting a wide variety of ethnic groups, tribes and kingdoms. The nation state of Angola originated from Portuguese colonisation, which initially began with coastal settlements and trading posts founded in the 16th century. In the 19th century, European settlers gradually began to establish themselves in the interior. The Portuguese colony that became Angola did not have its present borders until the early 20th century because of resistance by groups such as the Cuamato, the Kwanyama and the Mbunda.

After a protracted anti-colonial struggle, independence was achieved in 1975 as the Marxist–Leninist People's Republic of Angola, a one-party state supported by the Soviet Union and Cuba. The civil war between the ruling People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and the insurgent anti-communist National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), supported by the United States and South Africa, lasted until 2002. The sovereign state has since become a relatively stable unitary, presidential constitutional republic.

Angola has vast mineral and petroleum reserves, and its economy is among the fastest-growing in the world, especially since the end of the civil war; however, the standard of living remains low for most of the population, and life expectancy in Angola is among the lowest in the world, while infant mortality is among the highest. Angola's economic growth is highly uneven, with most of the nation's wealth concentrated in a disproportionately small sector of the population.Angola is a member state of the United Nations, OPEC, African Union, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, and the Southern African Development Community. A highly multiethnic country, Angola's 25.8 million people span tribal groups, customs, and traditions. Angolan culture reflects centuries of Portuguese rule, in the predominance of the Portuguese language and of the Catholic Church.

Angolar Creole

Angolar Creole is a minority Portuguese-based creole language of São Tomé and Príncipe, spoken in the southernmost towns of São Tomé Island and sparsely along the coast, especially by Angolar people. It is also called by its native speakers as n'golá. It is a creole language, based on Portuguese with a heavy substrate of a dialect of Kimbundu (port. Quimbundo), a Bantu language from inland Angola, where many had been enslaved.

According to their external history, the following three types of creole have been distinguished:

plantation creoles,

fort creoles,

maroon creoles(Bickerton 1988)

Angolar Creole is considered a maroon creole.

Bolo language

Bolo, also known as Ngoya and Kibala, is a Bantu language of Angola that is closely related to Kimbundu.

Candomblé Bantu

Candomblé Bantu (also called Candomblé Batuque or Angola) is one of the major branches (nations) of the Candomblé religious belief system. It developed in the Portuguese Empire among Kongo and Mbundu slaves who spoke Kikongo and Kimbundu) languages. The supreme and creative god is Nzambi or Nzambi Mpungu. Below him are the Jinkisi or Minkisi, deities of Bantu mythology. These deities resemble Olorun and the other orishas of the Yoruba religion. Minkisi is a Kongo language term: it is the plural of Nkisi, meaning "receptacle". Akixi comes from the Kimbundu language term Mukixi.

Cuanza Norte Province

The Cuanza Norte Province is a province of Angola. N'dalatando is the capital and the province has an area of 24,110 km² and a population of approximately 428,000. According to 1988 US government statistics, the province has a population of 365,100, with just 18,000 living in urban areas. Manuel Pedro Pacavira was born here and is a former provincial governor. The 1,400 meter long Capanda Dam is located in this province. Cuanza Norte lies on the northern bank of the Cuanza River. It had been a territory of Ngola Kingdom. In 1914, Norton de Matos created District of Cuanza which was divided into Cuanza Norte and Cuanza Sul Provinces in 1917.It was badly affected during the Angolan Civil War. It has a large number of mines left over from the Civil War and contracts to clear them were given to several organisations. During the civil war, the insurgents made the province part of the central zone. On 5 April 2001, National Union for the Total Independence of Angola members attacked Samba Caju and killed 120 FAA members. The province's military commander, General Recordacao was also killed in the attack.The most spoken languages are Kimbundu. Mbundu people inhabit the province. Sugarcane and coffee are the most important agricultural crops. Their production is favoured by the tropical humid climate of the province.

Ethnic groups in Angola

Ethnic groups in Angola are dominated by the Bantu, who are divided into a number of ethnolinguistic groupings. The main ones are the

Ovimbundu, constituting some 37% of the population in 2005, the Kimbundu, totaling 25% of the population, and the Bakongo with 13%.

The mestiço (mixed European and Native African) make up about 2% of the population. Since the mestiços are generally better educated than the black population, they exercise influence in government disproportionate to their numbers. Europeans, mostly of Portuguese extraction, constitute 1% of the population; other varied groups account for the remaining 22%.

Kilamba Kiaxi

Kilamba Kiaxi is one of the six urban districts that make up the municipality of Luanda, in the province of Luanda, Angola's capital.

Kilamba Kiaxi has 64.1 square kilometers and about 234,000 inhabitants. In the west it borders Maianga, to the east it borders the municipalities of Cazenga, Rangel and the town of Viana. In the south to the town of Samba. It includes the communes of Kilamba Kiaxi, Neves Bendinha, Golf, Palanca

In the Kimbundu language the name means Land (Kiaxi) of Kilamba.

Kimbundu languages

The Kimbundu languages are a group of Bantu languages coded Zone H.20 in Guthrie's classification. According to Nurse & Philippson (2003), they probably form a valid node, though this is still uncertain. They are:

Kimbundu (Mbundu), Sama, Bolo, Mpinda.Songo is often assumed to be a dialect of Kimbundu, but actually appears to be one of the Teke languages. Ngoya to its south was until recently considered a dialect of Kimbundu, but has now been recognized as a language in own right, and may be transitional between Kimbundu and Umbundu.


Kizomba is a genre of dance and a musical genre originating in Angola in 1984. Kizomba means "party" in Kimbundu, an Angolan language.

LGBT rights in Angola

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights in Angola have seen some improvement in the early half of the twenty-first century. Angolan law prohibits "acts against nature", though this law has seldom been enforced. In January 2019, the National Assembly approved a new penal code, which does not outlaw consenting same-sex sexual activity. It awaits the President's signature. Additionally, since 2015, employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation has been banned, making Angola one of the few African countries to have such protections for LGBT people.

Some NGOs in Angola, that are working on HIV/AIDS education, are beginning to work with the LGBT community, and there are no reports of LGBT people being specifically targeted for harassment in Angola by police or vigilante groups. Additionally, two specific LGBT groups operate in Angola. However, only one of these groups has received official and legal recognition.

Languages of Angola

The languages of Angola are predominantly Bantu and Portuguese, with a small minority of !Kung and Khoe speakers. About 39 languages are spoken in Angola. According to Ethnologue; there are 47 languages in Angola. 1 is extinct, and 46 are living. Out of the 46 living languages, 41 are indigenous, and 5 are non-indigenous. Additionally, 6 are institutional, 16 are developing, 19 are vigorous, and 5 are in trouble.

Mbali language

Mbali (Olumbali, Kimbari) is a minor Bantu language of Angola, spoken on the coast on the southern edge of the large Umbundu-speaking area and the northern end of the uninhabited Namib desert. Its classification is unclear. Arends et al. suggest it might turn out to be a Kimbundu–Umbundu mixed language, though it is nowhere near Kimbundu territory.


Muxima is a town and commune in the municipality of Quiçama, Luanda Province, Angola. It was founded in 1599 by the Portuguese. Muxima means "heart" in Kimbundu. It is the site of a Marian shrine. The town is the home of the 16th century Portuguese Fortress of Muxima.

Ngoya language

Ngoya, also known as Pala (Kibala, Ipala), is a newly recognized language of Angola that since ca. 2010 has been used for national radio broadcasts. It had previously been considered a dialect of Kimbundu without any linguistic evidence, and appears to be transitional between Kimbundu and Umbundu.

Nyoya is spoken in Cuanza Sul between Songo to the north and Umbundu to the south.

The name "Ngoya" is an Umbundu word meaning "savage". The endonym is Pala, which with the noun-class-7 prefix is Íipàlà. It is frequently rendered as Kibala, which is the Kimbundu form.

Nsongo language

Not to be confused with the Songo (Nsong, Ntsuo) variety of Yansi.Songo (Nsongo) is a Bantu language of Angola. It is similar to North Mbundu, and is often considered a dialect of that language. The true relationship may be a regional influence since it has been suggested that Nsongo and Teke, and it relatives, are close (Nurse 2003).


A quilombo (Portuguese pronunciation: [kiˈlõbu]; from the Kimbundu word kilombo, "war camp") is a Brazilian hinterland settlement founded by people of African origin including the quilombolas, or maroons and others sometimes called Carabali. Most of the inhabitants of quilombos (called quilombolas) were escaped slaves. However, the documentation on runaway slave communities typically uses the term mocambo, an Ambundu word meaning "hideout", to describe the settlements. A mocambo is typically much smaller than a quilombo. Quilombo was not used until the 1670s and then primarily in more southerly parts of Brazil.

A similar settlement exists in the Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America, and is called a palenque. Its inhabitants are palenqueros who speak various Spanish-African-based creole languages.

Quilombos are identified as one of three basic forms of active resistance by slaves. The other two are attempts to seize power and armed insurrections for amelioration. Typically, quilombos are a "pre-19th century phenomenon". The prevalence of the last two increased in the first half of 19th-century Brazil, which was undergoing both political transition and increased slave trade at the time.

Sama language (Angola)

Sama is a Bantu language of Angola that appears to be closely related to Kimbundu.

Official language
National languages


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