This page was last updated: January 20, 2010
Some years later a few modification were made
Mwata Kazembe XIV Chinyanta Nankula or Mwata ‘Tachililwa-kubaya’ was the first Lunda ruler to receive western education. He discontinued the custom that required each Kazembe to build a new house in the palace grounds, by putting up a permanent two-storey house, which he roofed with aluminium sheets. This became the permanent palace for the Mwata and his successors. Unfortunately, he did not live to enjoy the fruits of his labor. He died in October 1950, two days before he was to move into this house.
The First Palace was in Lunde from 1750-1775 It is now the burial place for all the Mwatas.
This place is forbidden to tresspass on as it is a sacred burial site
The Second Palace was in Shanyembe from 1775-1810.
The Third Palace is at Toka from 1810-1855
The Fourth Palace is at Chomba. From 1855-1885. A 225 meter by 390 meter by 405 meter deep defensive trench was dug around the Palace. This is where David Livingstone met the Mwata in 1867-68. In 1899 the British troops burnt down the Palace for non-compliance
The Fifth Palace is at Mwansabombwe. From 1885 to the present.
Lukwesa Mpanga was deposed after short reign in 1862 but returned 10 years later retaining his original title of Mwata Kazembe IX (1872-1886).
Note about the reigns of the Mwatas:
Record keeping was not done therefore we have to rely on oral traditions and different history accounts
Mwata Kazembe's Palace today
History of the Lunda Capital and the palace
Since the time of crossing the Luapula river in the 1740, the Lunda Chief, Mwata Kazembe has moved the Palace five times.
Kazembe II Kanyembo, who crossed the Luapula from the DRC around the 1740, and is noted as establishing the first eastern Lunda kingdom. Arox. 20 Kilometers east of the Mofwe Lagoon. He died in Lunde and was buried there creating a royal burial ground for future Mwatas.
The next chief was Kazembe III Lukwesa who succeeded around 1765, and reigned until 1805 in Lunde but later moved it west to Mofwe Lagoon. The site is visible north of the village Shanyemba. The area is 325 ha. enclosed by a ditch which touches the edge of the Luapula and is obvious from the air. This palace was visited by the first Portuguese expedition of Lacerda and Pinto in 1798-1799. This is also confirmed by the slave traders, Baptista and Jose' in 1806-1810. Then around the 1830s Monterio and Gamitto noted a palace with a defensive trench around it located at Toka, Then David Livingstone visited the Palace in 1867-1868 and described it as having a broad path into a town which had a palace in a reed enclosure 300 meters square, entered by a gateway on which 60 human skulls were mounted. Within the enclosure were huts for Kazembe and for his wives plus other huts for others. This was located near the village of Chomba. There is a rectangular ditch area measuring 225 meters by 390 meters by 405 meters. The ditch is 3 Meters deep. Then after it was burnt down, the capital was moved to Mwasabombwe where it is called Kazembe today.
To the right, This is the only known photo of the original palace that Mwata Kazembe would reside at. The photo was taken in 1951 at the instillation of Mwata Kazembe XV Brown Ngombe Chofwe (Kabumbu). A few days later, he moved into the new palace. Note the thatched roof and wall.
A brick wall surrounds the Palace with a large gate that gives easy access to vehicles. A door into the Palace is guarded by upto 3 body guards which can be accessed by appointment only.
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