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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Legitimacy and Political Power: Queen Njinga, 1624-1663
Author:Thornton, John K.ISNI
Periodical:The Journal of African History
Geographic term:Angola
Subjects:Matamba polity
Ndongo polity
traditional rulers
women rulers
History and Exploration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Cultural Roles
About person:Nzinga Mbandi (1582-1663)ISNI
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/182577
Abstract:Queen Njinga (often written Nzinga) of Ndongo and Matamba (Angola), who came to power in 1624, has recently been viewed as a usurper of the throne, largely because some contemporary documents describe her as such. But the issue of legitimacy to rule in Ndongo was a complex one, based not on a fixed constitution but a set of contradictory historical precedents which were cited to establish authority. Njinga managed to find such precedents to support her claims, which were further reinforced by her control of the chief military officials of the country. In so doing, she was able to establish her legitimacy and even became a precedent for female rule in the years that followed her death in 1663. Notes, ref.