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KONG, the name of a town, district and range of hills in the N.W. of the Ivory Coast colony, French West Africa. The hills are part of the band of high ground separating the inner plains of West Africa from the coast regions. In maps of the first half of the 19th century the range is shown as part of a great mountain chain supposed to run east and west across Africa, and is thus made to appear a continuation of the Mountains of the Moon, or the snow-clad heights of Ruwenzori. The culminating point of the Kong system is the Pic des Kommono, 4757 ft. high. In general the summits of the hills are below 2000 ft. and not more than 700 ft. above the level of the country. The " circle of Kong," one of the administrative divisions of the Ivory Coast colony, covers 46,000 sq. m. and has a population of some 400,000. The inhabitants are negroes, chiefly Bambara and Mandingo. About a fourth of the population profess Mahommedanism; the remainder are spirit worshippers. The town of Kong, situated in 9 N., 42o' W., is not now of great importance. Probably Rene Caillie, who spent some time in the western part of the country in 1827, was the first European to visit Kong. In 1888 Captain L. G. Binger induced the native chiefs to place themselves under the protection of France, and in 1893 the protectorate was attached to the Ivory Coast colony. For a time Kong was overrun by the armies of Samory (see SENEGAL), but the capture of that chief in 1898 was followed by the peaceful development of the district by France (see IVORY COAST).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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