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Most of the country is covered by dense tropical forest. The Congo River forms the eastern and southern borders and is one of the most important natural resources.
The local peoples have long used the river for food, transportation, and electricity.
A talking drum language developed in the villages as a form of long-distance communication.
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.
Fighting between the tribes weakened them as a group, including the Kongo.
The Teke Kingdom of the interior signed a treaty with the French in 1883 that gave the French land in return for protection.
Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza oversaw French interests.The landareais 132,046 square miles (approximately 342,000 square kilometers).