Chibados (or quimbandas)[1] are third-gender people, born male, who lived most often as women. They were found among the cultures of the Ndongo and other parts of what is today Angola. They were first described in the west by the Portuguese.

Chibados were involved as "spiritual arbiters in political and military decisions" and also performed burials.[2] Olfert Dapper described the chibados as shamans "who walk dressed like women."[3] Portuguese priests and Jesuits described how chibados lived as women and were able to marry other men with no social sanctions. Instead, "such marriages were honored and even prized."[4] Chibados made up a separate caste and elders referred to themselves as "Grandmother."[5]

Queen Nzinga of Ndongo and Matamba had over fifty chibados in her court.[6] The chibados were said to be used by Nzinga as concubines.[3]

As the Portuguese gained more control in Africa, colonial laws introduced and increased homophobia.[7]



  1. ^ Sweet 2003, p. 55-56.
  2. ^ Sweet 2003, p. 56.
  3. ^ a b Bleys, Rudi C. (1995). The Geography of Perversion: Male-to-Male Sexual Behavior Outside the West and the Ethnographic Imagination, 1750-1918. New York University Press. ISBN 9780814712658.
  4. ^ Das Wilhelm 2008, p. 227.
  5. ^ Epprecht, Marc (2008). Heterosexual Africa?: The History of an Idea from the Age of Exploration to the Age of AIDS. Ohio University Press. p. 37. ISBN 9780821442982.
  6. ^ Das Wilhelm 2008, p. 230.
  7. ^ Tendi, Blessing-Miles (28 March 2010). "African Myths About Homosexuality". Nehanda Radio. Retrieved 27 June 2016.