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The Portuguese did not venture into the interior but bought goods and slaves through African brokers on the coast.When the slave trade diminished because of depopulation, the Portuguese bought slaves from other tribes.Specific beats are broadcast for marriages, deaths, births, and other information. For the residents, the mythology of the region is tied closely to the mystical powers of animals.

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Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza oversaw French interests.

A small settlement along the Congo River was renamed Brazzaville and became the capital of the area now called the Middle Congo.

Trading contracts gave the Congolese textiles, jewelry, and manufactured goods in return for ivory, copper, and slaves.

Western education and Christianity were introduced into the region at that time.

About 60 percent of the people live in urban areas, particularly Brazzaville and Pointe Noire.

Another 12 percent live along the main railway between those cities.

Other ethnic groups joined them to form the three kingdoms that ruled the area before the arrival of Europeans: the Kongo, Loango, and Teke.

The mouth of the Congo River was the base for the Kongo Kingdom which encountered the Portuguese in 1484.

This situation continued until the European powers outlawed slavery in the late 1800s.

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