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LOANGO, a region on the west coast of Africa, extending from the mouth of the Congo river in 6 S. northwards through about two degrees. At one time included in the " kingdom of Congo " (see ANGOLA, History), Loango became independent about the close of the 16th century, and was still of considerable importance in the middle of the 18th century. Buali, the capital, was situated on the banks of a small river not far from the port of Loango, where were several European " factories." The country afterwards became divided into a large number of petty states, while Portugal and France exercised an intermittent sovereignty over the coast. Here the slave trade was longer maintained than anywhere else on the West African seaboard; since its extirpation, palm oil and india-rubber have been the main objects of commerce. The Loango coast is now divided between French Congo and the Portuguese district of Kabinda (see those articles). The natives, mainly members of the Ba-Kongo group of Bantu negroes, and often called Ba-Fiot, are in general well-built, strongly dolichocephalous and very thick of skull, the skin of various shades of warm brown with the faintest suggestion of purple. Baldness is unknown, and many of the men wear beards. Physical deformity is extremely rare. In religious beliefs and in the use of fetishes they resemble the negroes of Upper Guinea.

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

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