From Roses, Tulips, & Liberty
KIngdom of Kongo

Uene ua Kongo
CapitalMbanza Kongo
Largest citySanta Fe dos Pombeiros
Official languagesKisilongo
Regional languagesKisolongo

The Kingdom of Kongo (Kikongo: Uene ua Kongo) is a country in south-central Africa bordered by the Congo, Equatoria, and Angola.


Government and Politics



Most Kongolese speak Kikongo, a continuum of closely related dialects. Within the Kingdom, most speak southern and eastern varieties of Kikongo, principally including the main dialects of Kisikongo, Kisolongo, Kizombo, and Kiṭandu.

The official language of the Kongo is Kisikongo (colloquially known as Sansala), a Kikongo dialect spoken in Mpemba province. Kisikongo and its ancestor have functioned as the court language of the Kingdom since at least the 15th century.


The present Mputu orthography system for Kikongo was created in the 1920s, inspired by a mass movement in African nations (particularly Manden) to reform their Latin orthographies. It was recognized by the Kingdom of Kongo in 1939 and became official in 1957.

IPA Letter IPA Letter IPA Letter
m m n n ŋ ng
ᵐp mp ⁿt ᵑk nq, nk, nc
ᵐb mb ⁿd k q, k, c
p p t t g g
b b d d j y, i
ᶬf mf ⁿs i i
ᶬv mv ⁿz u u
f f s s e e
v v z z, s o o
w u l l a a
  • In order to clarify pronunciation, /buːi/ is often transcribed as bu'i with an apostrophe, while /bwi/ is transcribed as bui, without one.
  • /w/ at the start of a word followed by a vowel is transcribed as o, as in Oembo (/wembo/).
  • In the Kisolongo and Kizombo dialects, the sound /v/ is often pronounced /β/ and may be written as bh.
  • In eastern Kikongo dialects, v is often pronounced as /ɣ/.
  • In Portuguese and Spanish sources, k may be spelled qu, reflecting old Castilian orthography.
Comparison of Capuchin (1652) and Mputu (1957) orthographies
Vocabularium Congense (1652) Mputu Translation
lúfunzulú lua iúma ia úqúissi lufunzulu lua yuma ya ukisi 'tarnishing of the thing of sacredness'
mu-quentu mukentu woman


See also