Nzinga (also sometimes written as Njinga) lived in Angola from 1583-1663. She was born into the royal family of the Ndongo and Matamba kingdoms and served as a diplomat to the Portuguese for her brother the King. Nzinga wore men’s clothing and had both male husbands and female wives throughout her life. She became ruler of her people (and was referred to as King) after her brother died (or was maybe killed by Nzinga – no one knows). Nzinga lived during a tumultuous time, when the Portuguese were invading Africa and kidnapping people to be enslaved. Nzinga is a complicated historical figure, as she negotiated and fought for her people’s safety (famously using one of her people as a chair so as not to be forced to sit on the floor during negotiations), but also allowed many to be sold into slavery. She is honored now as the Mother of Angola, and paved the way for many female heads of state. The colorway honoring Nzinga, called Warrior, used to be called Chocolate Frog.
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