São Tomé : the forgotten history of the Angolares

A 50,000 dobras banknote of São Tomé and Principe, bearing the image of the King, Amador. Photo : RR

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NEWSROOM (ADV) – The lost war of King Amador against the Portuguese slavery system, at the very end of the 16th century, is one of the first of this importance ever undertaken in Africa against the transatlantic slave economy.

The Angolarians form a true political society of their own, operating according to a homogeneous model of a Negro-African organization, with its sufficiently numerous armed forces, led by warlords, composed of effectively specialized personnel.

The island of São Tomé was uninhabited when the Portuguese seized it in 1474.

The Angolares (Angolans) of São Tomé were the survivors of a European ship, full with slaves, that sank south-east of the island of São Tomé around 1550. According to tradition, they settled in the high mountains of São Tomé.

In 1574, seeing that the Portuguese imported slaves to the island, the Angolares, armed with bows and arrows, descended from the mountains to take the city of São Tomé.

The settlers were then taken by surprise, when they were attacked by an army of Africans in this island which they thought was populated only by Portuguese forces.

Back on the forgotten history of these proud African populations.

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