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.
Waltz, Das Konzessionwesen im Belgischen Kongo (1917); F.
The best-known of the Bantu-Negro tribes are the Ba-Kongo (Ba-Fiot), who dwell chiefly in the north, and the Abunda (Mbunda, Ba-Bundo), who occupy the central part of the province, which takes its name from the Ngola tribe of Abunda.
The Mushi-Kongo and other divisions of the Ba-Kongo retain curious traces of the Christianity professed by them in the 16th and 17th centuries and possibly later.
In the South Atlantic, however, the African coast was further explored, new settlements were founded, and a remarkable development of Portuguese-African civilization took place in the kingdom of Kongo (see Angola).
The lower Congo and coast regions are occupied by the Ba-Kongo (otherwise Ba-Fiot), a division including the Mushi-Kongo, found chiefly in the Congo division of Angola, and the Basundi, who live on both banks of the river in the cataracts districts, the Kabinda and the Mayumbe - the two last named dwelling in the coast districts and foot-hills immediately north of the mouth of the Congo.
The Ba-Kongo, as a whole, appear to be a degenerate race, the primitive type having been degraded by several centuries of contact with the worst forms of European civilization (see further Angola: Inhabitants).
Nearly all the tribes have tattoo markings on the face and body; to this rule the Ba-Kongo tribes are an exception.
Groups, as also by the Ba-Kongo, the founders of the" Kingdom of Congo "(see Angola).