The Ambo are thought to have come originally from the Luba Empire. They probably left about 1600, moving to the Katanga region west of the Luapula River, where they were part of the Aushi. At some point two sons of an Aushi chief moved across the Luapula River into our region. The system of inheritance among the Aushi/Ambo was not from father to son, it was from father to ‘sister’s son’, ie matrilineal. So these two sons of the chief knew that they had no way of becoming a chief in their own right except if they founded their own district. Together the two brothers moved into our region and set up their home on a Mulembo River, east of the Luangwa River.
At the time, clan names were probably more important than their tribal name. One of the sons was of the Mpande Clan, the other from the Nyendwa Clan. Mpande is the shell from the coast which had been passed from village to village as a trade item and was valued throughout central Africa.