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(also Sande, Bazenda, Nyam-Nyam; self-designation, a-Zande), a people inhabiting the area between the Wele and Bomu rivers in the Congo (capital Kinshasa) and adjacent districts of the Central African Republic and Sudan. The total population was estimated at about 1.6 million in 1967. The Azande speak the Zande language. Traditional beliefs, such as those of the ancestor cult and the cult of the forces of nature, are maintained. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the Azande founded a single league of tribes headed by a paramount chief. They are engaged chiefly in agriculture, producing sorghum, millet, corn, and manioc. Cattle breeding is also practiced. In the late 19th century, the Azande were studied and described by the Russian traveler V. V. Iunker.
REFERENCESSeligman, C. G. Pagan Tribes of the Nilotic Sudan. London, 1932.
Evans-Pritchard, E. E. Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic Among the Azande. Oxford, 1937.
(or Banda), a plateau in Central Africa, spanning the Central African Republic, the Congo (since 1971, Zaire; capital, Kinshasa), and the Sudan. It is a watershed between the Congo Basin, Lake Chad, and the Nile. The plateau was formed by crystalline and metamorphic Precambrian rocks. Its average height is 600 to 900 m, the highest point in the west being 1,400 m. Savannah-type vegetation with patches of deciduous forests covers the plateau; evergreen fringe forests grow along the rivers. The Azande Plateau is a source of gold and diamonds.