Both Marvel Comics and the Marvel Cinematic Universe have given us a display of many characters and their origins. And they have not disappointed us with such great feats. The Marvel universe has given us characters such as Hulk, Spider-Man, Captain America, Ironman, Black Panther, and many more.
Their origins are a different story and have got us hooked into comics and movies as well. Right here, we will be talking about Black Panther’s home, Wakanda. Although this place is totally fiction, the way it’s presented in the comics and movies makes us crave this place more than anything.
History of Wakanda Society
The history of Wakanda goes back many centuries, where it was home to mythical beasts who were known as The Originators. The place was filled with species like Simbi, Vanyan, Anansi, and Creeping Doom.
Until then, the existence of humans was not shown in Wakanda, but when Bast, the panther goddess, was tasked with the concealment of Amon Ra’s heart she found a tribe of hunters in the center of Africa.
At that moment, she decided to choose one of the warriors with the blood of Ra, to protect the heart. This was the foundation of Wakanda we know today. While the initial days were peaceful and both the humans and mythical beings there lived, eventually, due to the abuse of resources by humans, the conflict started.
Later on, with the help of the Gods of Wakanda, the Orisha, they won the battle against the Originators and banished them to Nether-Realms. This was a step up from the foundation, and Wakanda was built upon the land of The Originators.
With all these, we also know it’s home to one of the strongest elements, Vibranium. While Wakanda was still inhabited by primitive humans, a massive meteorite came crashing onto Earth.
The element could absorb sound and energy, which could be used to forge new and powerful weapons.
Along with Vibranium, the radiation of it biologically and physically changed some of the members of tribes into ‘Demon Spirits’ who would go on the rampage on villages and kill many of their own people. Fighting them off was out of the question back then, so the tribe’s leader ‘Bashenga’ prayed to Bast and was made the second Black Panther to fend the Demon Spirits off their land.
Bashenga’s blood later carried on to rule the country for many centuries. His lineage would also eat one of many affected floras of the country, which would give them immense immunity. The vibranium affected the floras and faunas in the region, changing many species there.
All these activities led to what Wakanda is today in the modern world. Wakanda is, right now, one of the most powerful countries in the world. It is powerful in terms of both economy and power. While the history and its doors are closed to others outside of the country, Wakanda is one of the best countries in all of Africa today.
Where is Wakanda located?
Wakanda, which is also known as the Kingdom of Wakanda, is located in North East Africa, according to Marvel Comics. Wakanda is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the Marvel Universe. Birnin Zana is the largest and the capital city of Wakanda.
The pinpoint location of Wakanda has shifted over the years, and many times, it’s difficult to exactly know where this place is located. The first time Wakanda was presented was back in 1966 in Fantastic Four.
While the location kept on shifting from one place to another, the early maps showed Wakanda being a country near the Atlantic Ocean. Other times, it has been shown in neighboring countries such as Ethiopia and Kenya.
One of the prominent figures, Everett Ross, was shown with the map showing Wakanda in between Sudan in the north and Congo in the south.
Other early maps shown in the comics had Wakanda with some other fictitious countries like Cannan, Niganda, Ujanka, and so on. It also had non-fictitious countries like Somalia and Kenya.
Although Wakanda has been in various places within the course of many years, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has hinted that the country is in Uganda, East Congo, and the Burundi region of Africa Continent.
Is Wakanda a real country?
Sadly, the answer to that question is a big No.
No, Wakanda is not a real country in South Africa. While we can see the inspiration and idea behind the country, this technologically advanced nation is a fictional country in the Marvel Universe.
Wakanda is simply a creation of imagination like many other places in Marvel Comics. For instance, Kumar Taj, where Doctor Strange went for his magical journey, and Sokovia, where the Scarlet Witch was from are basically fictional places.
While most of the places from the US are in great detail, this could be all due to a lack of geographical knowledge all the way back to the 1960s. With very few references, it seems like it was a better option for authors to make up a fictional place rather than use places of the real world.
Wakanda is a made-up nation in the Marvel Universe, but it is heavily based on cultures we can find in Africa. The buildings which can be seen around in Wakanda have kept their African roots in it.
In the end, although this country is heavily laced with many real African countries, it is not a real country. Wakanda is simply a fictional country made up for the Marvel Universe that has African roots.
Wakanda and the African Culture
Black Panther is one of the best heroes in the Marvel Universe, and his background in Africa also makes him one of the most loved heroes. The Marvel Universe has given us heroes from a lot of cultural backgrounds.
Wakanda and Black Panther both are extensively related to African culture. From the costume design to the army of Wakanda, they are heavily based on African Culture. The female army Dora Milaje is based on the historic Mino female army, and the costume is very similar to the Maasai people of Africa.
Also the lip plate, which is an accessory of Mursi females in Ethiopia, can be seen in the live-action movie of Black Panther.
The Zulu culture’s headwear can also be seen in the movie. T’Challa’s mother can be seen wearing a similar piece of headwear. This hat is known as ‘Isicolo.’
Although the country of Wakanda may be fictional, the culture in the movie showcases many things that can be found in the real world. Wakanda and Black panther give us a glimpse of all the African culture in the real world.