Ngando people



The Ngando people (or Bongando, Ngandu) are Bantu subsistence farmers who live in eastern part of Équateur and the western part of Orientale province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.



The Bongado are a branch of the Mongo cluster, with an estimated population in 1990 of 450,000-500,000. They usually speak Longando, but sometimes use the Lingala language. Longando is related to the Lalia language. Ethnologue reports that the Ngando live in the Maringa River area, north of Ikela, and had a population of 220,000 in 1995.



The Ngando people are a Bantu group with a language related to the Mongo or Kundu group.  The name is spelled Ngandu in some sources.  Access to their area is very difficult.  There are few roads in that part of DRC.  Information is thus also limited.  They are reported, though, to be a fun-loving people.


Location and economy

The Bongando live in the tropical rain forest of the Congo basin. Daily temperatures range from 20 °C (68 °F) to 30 °C (86 °F) and annual rainfall is about 2,000 millimetres (79 in). The Bongando's staple crop is cassava, and they also grow bananas. yams, maize, rice and some vegetables. Their only cash crop is coffee, introduced in the 1960s. They raise goats, pigs, chickens, and ducks, and supplement their diet through hunting, fishing, and gathering.

The Bongando have traditionally seen bonobos as human beings rather than animals. However, due to economic stress from political disorders followed by civil wars in the 1992-2005 period and to social and cultural interchanges with other ethnic groups, this perception has changed. The younger Bongando will now sometimes hunt bonobos as bushmeat.



The Ethnologue classifies the Ngando language as a Bantu language in the Mongo group.  It is related to Lalia.  Global Recordings Network lists the language under the name of Longando.  The Lo is a Bantu prefix that means "language of."  This language of Ngando (nxd) is not related to another language of the same name in the Central African Republic (code ngd).



CPPI reports the Ngando as Roman Catholic with no evangelical believers.  No details could be found from sources on the status of religion or Christian faith directly related to the Ngando people of DRC.



Bongando settlements are typically scattered along the road in an open area 10 metres (33 ft) to 30 metres (98 ft) wide that contains the cassava and coffee fields. Behind the fields there is some secondary forest and then huge expanses of primary forest. The Bongando have a patrilineal lineage system, and wives come to live near their husband's family. Usually close relatives live close together.



Like most ethnic groups in DRC, the Ngando are a Bantu people, a term deriving from linguistic classification terms.  The Bantu peoples migrated east, west and south out of Central Africa sometime around the time of Christ, or a little before.

The Ngando are one of many tribes with a history stemming from the Mongo people in earlier history.  They are different from another people also called Ngando in the Central African Republic, who are related to the Yaka people.