The Kuba

Kuba refers to a kingdom of 19 ethnic groups who have been united under one ruler and system of government since the 17th century.

The Kuba kingdom is regarded as one of the most powerful kingdoms in central Africa and resisted colonial influence until the early 20th century.

The Kuba Kingdom occupies an area of fertile land in the Congo River basin. 

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A succession of kings from the largest ethnic group, the Bushoong, has ruled over the kingdom since 1625. The Kingdom has long prized the visual arts as symbols of wealth and status. The current king, Kot

a-Mbweki III, has been on the throne since 1969.

King Kot a-Mbweki III, photographed in full ceremonial clothing in 1970. 

Photo credit: Daniel Laine