CAZEMBE, the hereditary name of an African chief, whose territory was situated south of Lake Mweru and north of Bangweulu, between 9° and 11°S. In the end of the 18th century the authority of the Cazembe was recognized over a very extensive district. The kingdom, known also as the Cazembe, continued to exist, though with gradually diminishing power and extent, until the last quarter of the 19th century, when the Cazembe sank to the rank of a petty chief. The country is now divided between Great Britain and Belgian Congo. The British half, lying east of the Luapula, forms part of Rhodesia, and the chief town in it is called Kazembe. The native state, ruled by a negro race who overcame the aboriginals, had attained a certain degree of civilization. Agriculture was diligently followed, and cotton cloth, earthenware and iron goods manufactured. The country contains rich deposits of copper, and copper ore was one of the principal articles of export. The Cazembe had despotic power and used it in barbarous fashion. He had hundreds of wives, and his chiefs imitated his example according to their means. On his accession every new Cazembe chose a new site for his residence. In 1796 the Cazembe was visited by Manoel Caetano Pereira, a Portuguese merchant; and in 1798 a more important journey to the same region was undertaken by Dr Francisco José Maria de Lacerda. He died in that country on the 18th of October that year, but left behind him a valuable journal. In 1802 two native traders or pombeiros, Pedro João Baptista and Amaro José, were sent by the Portuguese on a visit to the Cazembe; and in 1831 a more extensive mission was despatched by the Portuguese governor of Sena. It consisted of Major José Monteiro and Antonio Gamitto, with an escort of 20 soldiers and 120 negro slaves as porters; but its reception by the Cazembe was not altogether satisfactory. In 1868 David Livingstone visited the Cazembe, whose capital at that time numbered no more than 1000 souls. Since 1894, when the country was divided between Britain and the Congo State, it has been thoroughly explored. An important copper mining industry is carried on in the Congo division of the territory.
See The Lands of the Cazembe, published by the Royal Geographical Society in 1873, containing translations of Lacerda and Baptista's journals, and a résumé of Gamitto's O Muata Cazembe (Lisbon, 1854); also Livingstone's Last Journals (London, 1874).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)