CULTURAL AND OFFICIAL SYMBOLS


NATIONAL ANTHEM

Ó Pátria, nunca mais esqueceremos
Os heróis do quatro de Fevereiro.
Ó Pátria, nós saudamos os teus filhos
Tombados pela nossa Independência.
Honramos o passado, a nossa História,
Construindo no trabalho o homem novo.
Honramos o passado, a nossa História,
Construindo no trabalho o homem novo

Coro 
Angola, avante!
Revolução, pelo Poder Popular!
Pátria Unida, Liberdade,
Um só povo, uma só Nação!

Levantemos nossas vozes libertadas
Para glória dos povos africanos.
Marchemos, combatentes angolanos,
Solidários com os povos oprimidos.
Orgulhosos lutaremos pela paz,
Com as forças progressistas do mundo.
Orgulhosos lutaremos pela paz,
Com as forças progressistas do mundo

Angola, avante!
Revolução, pelo Poder Popular!
Pátria Unida, Liberdade,
Um só povo, uma só Nação!


  NATIONAL FLAG

flag

The National Flag of Angola consists of two horizontal stripes, in which are laid out two colors. The top band is bright red in color and the lower black.

Bright red - This color represents the bloodshed by Angolans during colonial oppression, struggles for national liberation and homeland defense.

Black - This color means the African continent

In the Centre, there is a figure made up:

a) Part of a gear (cog wheel)-symbolizing the workers and industrial production;

b) by a machete – to symbolize the peasants, agricultural production and the armed struggle;

c) By a star - symbolizing international solidarity and progress.

The yellow color of the cog wheel, machete and star represents the wealth of the country.


 OFFICIAL COAT OF ARMS

brasao2

The emblem of the Republic of Angola is formed:

a) by a section of a gear (cog wheel) representing the workers and industrial production;

b) by sheaves of maize, coffee and cotton that represent the peasants and agricultural production.

c) at the base of the set there is an open book, a symbol of education and culture and the image of the rising sun, which means the new country.

d) in the Center, are the figures of a machete and a hoe, which symbolize the work and the beginning of the armed struggle.

e) at the top, the image of a star, symbolizing international solidarity and progress.

f) at the bottom of the badge, there is a golden Ribbon with the inscription "Republic of Angola". 


 IMBONDEIRO (BAOBAB)

Baobab

It is a large tree from the Angolan forest of Mayombe. This vegetable colossus can reach thirty feet tall and has the ability to store, in his giant stalk, up to 120,000 gallons of water. For this reason, it is called also "bottle tree". The Baobab is considered as sacred, inspiring poems, rites and legends. According to an old African legend, for example, once a dead person is buried inside a Baobab, his soul will live while the plant exists. Interestingly, this tree has a very long life-between one and six thousand years. Only Japanese cedar and Sequoia can compete with the longevity of the Baobab. It should be noted that this plant was widely disseminated in the 20th century, through the work The Little Prince, by the French writer Antoine de Saint-Éxupery.

Its scientific name is Adansonia digitata, but is also known as African Baobab. The Baobab has a very thick trunk at the base, reaching up to nine feet in diameter. Its trunk is cone-shaped and narrowing features large lumps. The leaves sprout between the months of July and January but, if the tree can be moistened, they can stay throughout the year. In General, the Baobab Tree blooms during a single night, only in the period from May to August. During the few hours of the opening of the flowers, the nocturnal nectar consuming – particularly bats, seek to ensure pollination of the plant.

Everything in the Baobab serves for the survival of human beings. It is worth mentioning that this tree is also a precious source of medicines. Its leaves are rich in calcium, iron, protein and lipids, as well as be used as a powerful and also to combat fevers and inflammations. A powder made from dried leaves has been used to combat anemia, rickets, dysentery, rheumatism, asthma, and is also used as a tonic.

Its fruit is called múcua. The shell of this fruit, in a concave form, is used by people like bowls. The pulp and fiber of its fruits are able to combat diarrhea, dysentery, measles and chicken pox. The core of the combat fruit fever and inflammation in the digestive tract; and its seeds are full of vegetable oil and can be roasted and eaten. The roots of young seedlings of the Baobab, when they are cooked properly, can serve as food in the same way as the asparagus.

Take down a Baobab is a sacrilege in Angola. As regards the construction and carpentry, it is only used when there is no other material. Its wood is used for construction of musical instruments and its core yields a strong fiber used in the manufacture of ropes and lines.


 WELWITSCHIA

welw

Welwitschia is a genus of succulent plants, consisting of a single species, the famous Welwitschia mirabilis, only found in the desert South of Angola. This species was named from the name of Dr. Friedrich Welwitsch, who contributed to the knowledge of this and many other plants of Angola. Due to its unique features, including its slow growth, the Welwitschia is considered an endangered species and has become a symbol of national culture by its strength and longevity.

It is a creeping plant, made up of a woody stem that does not grow, a huge Plumb root and two sheets only, from the cotyledons of the seed. The leaves, in the form of wide ribbon, continue to grow throughout the life of the plant, once have the basal meristem. Over time, the leaves can reach up to two meters in length and become ragged at the ends. It is difficult to assess the age that these plants reach, but it is thought that they can live more than 1,000 years.

A Welwitschia mirabilis é uma planta dióica, ou seja, os cones masculinos e femininos nascem em plantas diferentes. Tradicionalmente, esta espécie foi classificada como uma gimnospérmica (como os pinheiros e plantas semelhantes), mas actualmente é classificada como uma gnetófita, uma divisão das plantas verdes que produzem sementes (espermatófitas).

The Welwitschia mirabilis is dioecious, meaning male and female cones are born in different plants. Traditionally, this species has been classified as a Gymnosperm (such as pines and plants), but currently is classified as a gnetófita, a division of green plants that produce seeds (seed plants).

Despite the climate it lives in, the Welwitschia can absorb water from dew, through the leaves. This species also has a physiological characteristic in common with the crassulaceae (plants with fleshy or succulent leaves, as cacti): acid-metabolism during the day, the leaves keep their stomata closed, to prevent sweating, but at night they open up, let the carbon dioxide required for photosynthesis and store it in the form of Malic acid and isocítrico in the vacuoles of its cells; during the day, these acids release CO2 and convert it into glucose, through the reactions known as Calvin cycle.

The largest known Welwitschia, nicknamed "the big Welwitschia", stands 1.4 m tall and over 4 m in diameter


 GIANT BLACK ANTELOPE

Giant black

The Giant Black Antelope (Hippotragus niger, var.) is the most beautiful African antelope. It is even more appreciated, besides the beauty of the shapes, the fact that it only exists in Angola, and scarce in number, because the species is classified as in serious danger of extinction (IUCN, 1996). Its hunt is strictly prohibited, as a measure of protection.

These beautiful animals living in small herds of six to twelve individuals attending the edgings and the interior of open Woods, near the water and meadows. Often, people see them alone or in couples.

The word derives from the agglutination of Hippotragus Greek Latinized "hippo" (meaning horse) and tragus (which means goat or antelope). Yet that has nothing to do with any perissodactyl (horse family), this Antelope has a long tail and full, a Summit long and pointed ears erect and a wide neck and almost vertical, that is reminiscent of the profile of equidae.

A herd of Black Antelope, on the banks of the Woods who attend, is one of the most beautiful paintings that you can admire in Angola. However, that today it is almost impossible, except in photographs or paintings. After 20 years without being seen, the giant black antelope was rediscovered in 2005, in Kuando Kubango.

In the past, the black Antelope's horns were used as decorative ornaments. Extraordinarily long and robust, they reach over a meter and a half in length, each forming a semi-circumference by its curvature.

Currently, the Angola national football team players are known as Black Antelope.


 O PENSADOR (THE THINKER)

opensador

Designated O PENSADOR (the thinker), the sculpture is one of the most beautiful statues, from tchokwe origins, and now a benchmark of culture inherent to all Angolans, as it is the symbol of the national culture. It represents the figure of an old man that can be a woman or a man. Designed symmetrically, with the face slightly tilted down, and expresses an intentional subjectivism because, in Angola, the elderly occupy a privileged status. The elderly represent the wisdom, the experience of many years and the knowledge of the secrets of life.

It is said that the thinker has the following origin: in the northeast of Angola there is a basket of divination, called “o ngombo”, and the guesser uses small figures, carved in wood, which will determine the fate of the customer. Interestingly, these are figures that came to inspire the famous national figure - O PENSADOR.

This image is, today, an emblematic figure of Angola, which appears in the filigree of kwanza, the national currency. It is considered a work of art and native from Angola. Like any emblematic figure of a people, as, for example, " Zé Povinho " in Portugal, "John Bull" in England or the "Uncle Sam" in the United States, O PENSADOR has an "invented” or "conventional" tradition.

The first figures of O PENSADOR were sculpted in Dundo Museum, in the late TWENTIETH century year 40. In 1947, at the initiative of Diamang, a Diamond Company of Lunda at the time was created in the town of Dundo a traditional art museum and archaeological and ethnographic collections. Employees, mostly Portuguese and Belgian, hired local craftsmen and encouraged them to carve in wood, or to model in clay, figures that were genuinely Angolan but, at the same time, that their approaching shapes of an aesthetic that they be more conventional in western direction.

Today, one can acquire pieces of O PENSADOR in galleries, stores and craft fairs, in different sizes and materials, as Angola souvenir.