Modernization efforts by the current inhabitants under the leadership of chieftain Black Panther (T'Challa)
Wakandan tribal civilization
Black Warrior Creek, Central Wakanda Palace, Charms of the Chilling Mist, Crystal Forest, Domain of the White Gorillas, Jabari village, Mount Kanda, Mount Wakanda, N'Jadaka village, Panther Island, Paradise Forest, Piranha Cove, Primitive Peaks, Resuraction Altar, River of Grace & Wisdom, Serphent Valley, T'Chaka Path, Techano-Jungle, Torment Forest, Tranquility Temple, Twisted Visions Lake, Vibranium Mound, Warrior Falls, Woods of Solitude
Government: Absolute monarchy
Major Languages: Wakandan, Yoruba
Monetary Unit: Wakan dollar
Major Resources: Vibranium, uranium, coal, diamonds, aeronautics, aircraft manufacture
Fantastic Four #52 (1966)
Wakanda is a small nation located in equatorial Africa named for its native inhabitants, the Wakandas. Wakanda is a nation of vast contrasts. While tribal in government and relatively primitive in certain aspects of its culture, Wakanda possesses technology often more sophisticated than anywhere else on Earth.
Until relatively recently, the Wakandas lived as their ancestors did, primarily a hunter-gatherer society with some cultivation of crops. Central to the Wakandas' myth and ritual was a small mountain of ore which according to legends fell from the sky. This meteroic ore was later found to be Vibranium, an extraterrestrial metal capable of absorbing all sonic vibrations. For generations, the Wakandas worshipped at the site of the mound and founded a cult around the native predator, the black panther, which guarded the sacred mountain. It all changed when a British hunting expedition happened to take note of the unusual mound of ore. The renegade scientist Ulysses Klaw attempted to forcibly seize the valuable Vibranium, but he was opposed by T'Chaka, the chieftain of the Wakandas as well as the head of the Black Panther Cult. T'Chaka was slain by Klaw's mercenaries, but it was his son, T'Challa, who managed to drive the foreign invaders away. Realizing the vast wealth of the Vibranium deposit, the Wakandas quickly became one of the wealthiest countries in the world for merely small quantities of Vibranium.
The Wakandas took care to let no outsider know the exact location of the deposit for fear of theft. T'Challa, educated in the universities abroad, returned to Wakanda to assume leadership of the tribe. His newfound business and scientific expertise enabled the Wakandas to further parlay the Vibranium deposit into even greater wealth. As chieftain, T'Challa also became the hero known as the Black Panther. Within five years of T'Challa's return, a highly technological factory stood amidst the grass huts as T'Challa tried to retain the flavor of traditional tribal custom in the face of modernization. Since Wakanda's economy was based strictly on the export of its natural resource. Vibranium, all of the manufacturing done by Wakandas Design Group was strictly for domestic consumption. For instance, a large portion of Wakanda's industrial output was the manufacture of surveillance and security devices to protect the Vibranium mound.
Wakanda burst upon the public scene when T'Challa invited the Fantastic Four to his country as guests. When they arrived, he stalked and subdued each of the Four, all to test his own prowess as a warrior. The Fantastic Four forgave him for his seeming hostilities and helped him battle Klaw, who had returned to make a bid to steal the Vibranium, this time with a weapon utilizing Vibranium acquired illegally on the free market. Although he has taken numerous short leaves from the kingdom (such as his stint of membership among the Avengers), T'Challa has learned that he cannot lead his people without living among them. He still strives to reconcile the polar extremes of Wakanda culture, to make the tribal and the technological peaceably coexist.