The Cimba [tʃimba] , also spelled Tjimba, are a remote, Herero-speaking hunter-gatherer people of the Kaokoveld desert in northwest Namibia and southwest Angola, in the mountain ranges bordering the Kunene River. They continue to use stone tools, and use Adenium boehmianum to poison their arrows.
Their Herero neighbors portray them as Herero who have lost their cattle and are therefore impoverished, but they are a distinct people, both culturally and physically.Indeed, physically they seem to be a remnant of an indigenous population of a southern African type—along with the Kwadi, the Kwisi, and the Damara—that are unlike either the San (Bushmen) or the Bantu Herero. The mitochondrial DNA of Tjimba who have been genetically tested is similar to that of Himba, Herero, and Damara, suggesting that they descend (at least maternally) from the same Bantu ancestors.
Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia, is a country in Southern Africa. Its western border is the Atlantic Ocean; it shares land borders with Zambia and Angola to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. Although it does not border Zimbabwe, less than 200 metres of the Zambezi River separates the two countries. Namibia gained independence from South Africa on 21 March 1990, following the Namibian War of Independence. Its capital and largest city is Windhoek. Namibia is a member state of the United Nations (UN), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union (AU), and the Commonwealth of Nations.
The history of Namibia has passed through several distinct stages from being colonised in the late nineteenth century to Namibia's independence on 21 March 1990.
Khoisan, or according to the contemporary Khoekhoegowab orthography Khoe-Sān, is a catch-all term for the "non-Bantu" indigenous peoples of Southern Africa, combining the Khoekhoen and the Sān or Sākhoen.
The San or Saan peoples, also known as the "Bushmen", are members of various Khoisan-speaking indigenous hunter-gatherer groups that are the first nations of Southern Africa, and whose territories span Botswana, Namibia, Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and South Africa. There is a significant linguistic difference between the northern peoples living between the Okavango River in Botswana and Etosha National Park in northwestern Namibia, extending up into southern Angola; the central peoples of most of Namibia and Botswana, extending into Zambia and Zimbabwe; and the southern people in the central Kalahari towards the Molopo River, who are the last remnant of the previously extensive indigenous Sān of South Africa.
The culture of Angola is influenced by the Portuguese. Portugal occupied the coastal enclave Luanda, and later also Benguela, since the 16th/17th centuries, and expanded into the territory of what is now Angola in the 19th/20th centuries, ruling it until 1975. Both countries share cultural aspects: language (Portuguese) and main religion. However, the Angolan culture is mostly native Bantu, which was mixed with Portuguese culture. The diverse ethnic communities with their own cultural traits, traditions and native languages or dialects include the Ovimbundu, Ambundu, Bakongo, Chokwe, Avambo and other peoples.
The Bantu expansion is a major series of migrations of the original proto-Bantu language speaking group, who spread from an original nucleus around West Africa-Central Africa across much of sub-Saharan Africa. In the process, the Proto-Bantu-speaking settlers displaced or absorbed pre-existing hunter-gatherer and pastoralist groups that they encountered.
Kaokoland was an administrative unit and a bantustan in northern South West Africa. Established during the apartheid era, it was intended to be a self-governing homeland of the OvaHimba, but an actual government was never established. Like other homelands in South West Africa, the Kaokoland bantustan was abolished in May 1989, at the beginning of the transition of Namibia towards independence. "Kaokoland" remains as an informal name for the geographic area, while the political unit of administration since 1990 is Kunene Region. The area is in the Kaokoveld ecoregion.
Khwe is a dialect continuum of the Khoe family of Namibia, Angola, Botswana, South Africa, and parts of Zambia, with some 8,000 speakers.
Kwadi was a "click language" of uncertain classification once spoken in the southwest corner of Angola. It is believed to be extinct. There were only fifty Kwadi in the 1950s, of whom only 4–5 were competent speakers of the language. Three partial speakers were known in 1965, but in 1981 no speakers could be found.
The Herero, also known as Ovaherero, are a Bantu ethnic group inhabiting parts of Southern Africa. The majority reside in Namibia, with the remainder found in Botswana and Angola. There were an estimated 250,000 Herero people in Namibia in 2013. They speak Otjiherero, a Bantu language.
The Ovambo people, also called Aawambo, Ambo, Aawambo, Ovambo or Ovawambo (Kwanyama), are a Bantu ethnic group native to Southern Africa, primarily modern Namibia. They are the single largest ethnic group in Namibia, accounting for over half of the population. They are also found in southern Angolan province of Cunene where they are more commonly referred to as "Ambo". The Ovambo consist of a number of kindred Bantu ethnic tribes who inhabit what was formerly called Ovamboland. In Angola, they are a minority, accounting for about two percent of the total Angolan population.
The Damara, plural Damaran are an ethnic group who make up 8.5% of Namibia's population. They speak the Khoekhoe language and the majority live in the northwestern regions of Namibia, however they are also found widely across the rest of the country. They have no known cultural relationship with any of the other ethnicities anywhere else in Africa, and very little is known of their origin. It has been proposed that the Damara are a remnant population of South-Western Africa hunter-gatherers, otherwise only represented by the Cimba, Kwisi, and Kwadi, who adopted the Khoekhoe language of the immigrant Nama people. However, recent genetic studies have found that Damara are closely related to neighbouring Himba and Herero people, consistent with an origin from Bantu speakers who shifted to a different language and culture.
The Khoe languages are the largest of the non-Bantu language families indigenous to southern Africa. They were once considered to be a branch of a Khoisan language family, and were known as Central Khoisan in that scenario. Though Khoisan is now rejected as a family, the name is retained as a term of convenience.
The Prehistory of South Africa lasts from the Middle Stone Age until the 17th century. Southern Africa was first reached by Homo sapiens before 130,000 years ago, possibly before 260,000 years ago. The region remained in the Late Stone Age until the first traces of pastoralism were introduced about 2,000 years ago. The Bantu migration reached the area now South Africa around the first decade of the 3rd century, over 1800 years ago, largely displacing the indigenous Khoisan population.Early Bantu kingdoms were established by the 11th century. First European contact dates to 1488, but European colonization began in the 17th century.
Racism in Africa is multi-faceted and dates back several centuries. It was originally strengthened by European colonialism, under which boundaries were drawn that did not take into consideration the different peoples dwelling within the newly formed provinces. The boundaries were little changed when former European colonies gained independence. As a consequence, some African nations have been plagued by inner conflicts, prejudiced attitudes and tribal warfare.
The Congo Pygmies are those "forest people" who have, or recently had, a deep-forest hunter-gatherer economy and a simple, non-hierarchical societal structure based on bands, are of short stature, and have a deep cultural and religious affinity with the Congo forest and live in a generally subservient relationship with agricultural "patrons".
The Twa are a group of African Pygmy peoples, tribes, or castes who live interdependently with agricultural Bantu populations, providing the farming population with game in exchange for agricultural products.
The Kwisi are a seashore-fishing and hunter-gatherer people of southwest Angola that physically seem to be a remnant of an indigenous population—along with the Kwadi, the Cimba, and the Damara—that are unlike either the San (Bushmen) or the Bantu. Culturally they have been strongly influenced by the Kuvale, and speak the Kuvale dialect of Herero. There may, however, have been a few elderly speakers of an unattested Kwisi language in the 1960s.
Zemba (Dhimba) is a Bantu language spoken mainly in Angola where the language has about 18,000 speakers, and also in Namibia with some 4,000. It is closely related to Herero, and is often considered a dialect of that language, especially as the Zemba are ethnically Herero.
The African Pygmies are a group of ethnicities native to Central Africa, mostly the Congo Basin, traditionally subsisting on a forager and hunter-gatherer lifestyle. They are divided into three roughly geographic groups: