Kap Lawou Kanga is a name used in Haiti for people from Kap Lawou (Cap Lahou) of the Ivory Coast, once called the Grain Coast. This area of Ginen was inhabited by the Bawoule people who called enslaved people Kanga. As a result, throughout the Caribbean, all the people enslaved from that region were referred to as Kanga. Since 1787, Kap Lawou became known as Grand Lahou. Since the Haitian Revolution began shortly after the name change, the new name never became common in Haiti. In Haitian literature, Kap Lawou is often spelled in French as Caplaou but by any spelling, it refers to the people of the Grain Coast.
Nowadays, there is often confusion as to which African ethnic group Kanga refers to. This is because there are numerous other ethnic groups in different areas of Ginen that are also called Kanga. For example, there is a Kongolese ethnic group called Kanga. As a result of this, some Sèvitè in Haiti refer to Kap Lawou Kanga Ancestors as Kongo Lwas.
In Haiti, turkey cooked in cinnamon is given as offering to Kap Lawou Ancestors. The turkey, Haiti’s largest bird, is possibly a substitute for the ostrich, the largest bird in the Kap Lawou region. The cinnamon may be symbolic of the spice trade with Europe that this region was known for. This spice trade earned the Kap Lawou region the name the Grain Coast for the grains of Ginen pepper that it used to trade with Europe. Ginen pepper is also called malangèt or manigèt. The Grain Coast was also called the Malangèt Coast.
Whereas only 11,000 Africans taken to Haiti were from the region of Kap Lawou, 398,000 came from the Kongo. Given the low numbers of Kap Lawou people in Haiti, the term Kanga became more associated with the Kongolese Kanga people as they were far more numerous. Today in Haiti many Sèvitè would place Kaplawou Kanga in the Kongo rather than in the Grain Coast.