Kwala / Licouala

Kwala / Licouala / Likouala

The Likouala, a subgroup of the Mboshi, is a riverine people living on the banks of the Congo River near Mossaka and on the banks of the Likouala and Kouyou rivers in Republic of Congo (Brazzaville)

The Kwala of Congo (Brazzaville) are numbering 86,500 ( 2023). They are part of the Bantu, Central-Congo people cluster within the Sub-Saharan African affinity bloc. This people group is only found in Congo (Brazzaville). Their primary language is Likwala.

Kwala people

Their villages are placed on elevated ground to protect them from flooding.

Main occupations are trading, boatbuilding, and fishing. Each family is given the use of a certain section of the river for fishing, and these fishing rights are maintained by the family through hereditary relationships. Fish that are not sold in Fort-Rousset or Brazzaville are either smoked or eaten fresh.

The Likouala population is in decline because of high mortality and low fertility rates, which is partly caused by local marriage customs, migration to the city, and extremely high marriage payments.

Polygyny is common, and a study showed that 43 percent of the men liad more than one wife. The heads of extended families and clans usually marry the younger girls, thereby forcing young men to look elsewhere for wives. By age twenty-two, all the women are or have been married. About 80 percent of the men aged eighteen to thirty years are single.