Government, History, Culture, Tourism, Industry, Ethnic Relation. The official name of the country is the Central African Republic (CAR). Central African Republic History and Culture Information and Travel Guide. Vacation package Book. Previously it had been Oubangui-Chari, one of the four territories of French Equatorial Africa, bound by the Ubangi River to the south and the Shari to the north. Before independence, there was no sense of a common culture among the indigenous peoples, who thought of themselves as members of lineages and clans, and as villagers. After colonization, when members of different ethno-linguistic groups came into contact, there developed a sense of being riverine (Sango, Gbanzili, and Ngbaka on the Ubangi River), forest (Mbati and Isungu) or grassland peoples (Gbaya and Banda). There is also the hunting, gathering and patron-dependent culture of the Babinga (pygmies) in the forests of the southwest.