The province of Bié is situated in central Angola. The presence of the Portuguese colonisation started in 1560, when the priest Gonçalo da Silveira arrived in the era of the expansion of the colonial power.
But it was only until 1572 that the Portuguese began to show interest in Bie and appointed its first Captain Joaquim Rodrigues, who settled in Ekovongo, former main “Embala” of the region. In 1843, the then governor-general of Angola, José Leite Bressame, ordered the exploration of the interior of Bie by a dealer, at the time he began the occupation of the territory, but the resistance of the people of Bié fouled such intentions.
During colonial times, the province was called Silva Porto. It is nowadays referred to as "martyr city", as the one that suffered most the effects of the war.
The population is mostly of Ovimbundu origins. It is formed by ethnic groups of Bantu origins, namely the Kibalas or Ngoias, originating in the kimbundos, Kalussinga (Andulo), the Songos from the north, and the Bailundos and Bienos descendants of the Mbundos, the former based in Andulo and Nhârea and the latter in Chinguar, Cunhinga, Catabola and Camacupa. The Luimbis or Luenas in Kwanza and the Ambuilas in Chitembo, while the eastern part of the province from north to south is populated by the Kiokos.
Its local language is Umbundu and the city (kuito)’s day is celebrated from 15 to 31 August.
The province of Bié has an area of 72.000 square kilometres and has the shape of a heart. Bié is a plain located in the "Geodetic Angola" centre, between the coordinates 10 º and 34 º, 14 º 18'S latitude and 15 º 42 and 19 º 13 longitude from the Greenwich.
Distance in relation to other cities
The province’s most populated municipalities are Kuito and Andulo while Kunhanga is the least populated. Bié is comprised of nine municipalities which are:
|Kuito||Kuito (Headquarters) |
Kunje (S. José/S. Porto Gare)
|Andulo||Andulo (Headquarters) |
|Kamacupa||Camacupa (Headquarters) |
Muinha (St. Antonio da Muinha)
|Katabola||Katabola (Headquarters) |
|Chinguar||Chinguar (Headquarters) |
|Chitembo||Chitembo (Headquarters) |
|Kuemba||Kuemba (Headquarters) |
|Kunhinga||Kunhinga (Headquarters) |
|Nharêa||Nharêa (Headquarters) |
Tropical and of altitude, characterised as dry, sweet, temperated constant. The maximum temperature in the hot season (rainy) September/April does not exceed 20ºC and in the cold (dry) season from May to August there is the occurrence of frost. Its climate is good for agricultural activity.
Bie has an estimated population of two million people, mostly of Ovimbundu origins. Other ethno-linguistic groups of the population are the Tchokwe, the N'ganguela, the Luimbis, the Songos and N'goias.
Bié has a rich subsoil with such minerals as diamond, gold, iron ore, quartz, pigmatite, magnetite, hematite and several others.