|The people of Namibia: Information on ethnic groups
information on diversity of population groups of our country.
collective name for a group of tribes in northern Namibia and southern
part of Angola. In the middle of 16 century these tribes which belonged to Bantu group
moved southwards from the great lakes area in the East Africa and settled between Kunene
and Okavango rivers.There are eight tribes of this group in northern Namibia at present
with a total population of around 700 000 which represents almost half of the population
of the country (45%). As agriculturists producing mostly millet and
pastoralists, they supplemented their subsistence economy with hunting, fishing and
gathering wild foods.
Migrated to Namibia
several centuries ago, the Herero are a pastoral cattle - breeding people. They moved to
the country at about the same period as Owambo from East Africa. Today the number of
Herero people in the country is around 100 000.
The total population of Damara people, one of the oldest cultural groups in the country, is approximately 90 000. They cultivate corn and vegetables, with livestock production playing important role as a source of income.
YouTube video of Damara Living Museum:
The area in the north - east of
the coast with an area of about 5 million hectares and an administrative centre in
Khorixas was proclaimed as Damaraland in 1973.
The population of the
Kavango people, close relatives of Owambo, is approximately 140 000 people.
The Kavango consist of five tribes: Kwangali, Shambyu, Gciriku, Mbunza and
Mbukushu. Each tribe is lead by a chief, assisted by a headmen. Like most other
groups in northern Namibia, southern Angola and Zambia, the social organization of the
Kavango is based on the matrilineal system. The economy in the Kavango is based on
combination of horticulture and animal husbandry.
The Himba (Ovahimba): photo album
The ancient tribe of
semi-nomadic pastoralists occupied Kunene region of the country. The Himbas (who are
relatives of Herero) are an extraordinary people who have resisted change and preserved
their unique cultural heritage.
The Nama have a lot in common with the Bushmen and are the only true relatives of the Khoikhoi group in the country. The population of Nama is approximately 90 000 people.
The Rehoboth Basters
The Basters regard themselves as a separate community from the Coloureds. The population of the Basters is approximately 60 000 people. While they are traditionally stock and crop farmers nowadays many of them are involved in building trade.
This is a group of Nama people. Mainly they have lived on the banks of Kuiseb river, with some members of community working in Walvis Bay.
As a Rehoboth Basters, originally this group came to Namibia from Cape Province of South Africa. Most of them live in towns and found in a wide range of professions. They speak Afrikaans as a home language.
Approximately 66 000 people live in the Caprivi strip. The tribes inhabitate the Caprivi are: Masubia, Mafwe, Mayeyi, Mbukushu and Matotela.
The total population of Bushmen in Namibia is about 27 000 people. This hunters - gatherers occupy remote areas in the east of the country and Kalahari desert in Botswana.
YouTube video of Living Museum of the Ju/'Hoansi-San Bushmen:
With the population of around 6 000 people this is the smallest cultural group in the country. Most Tswanas live in the Gobabis district of Namibia.
There are about 75 000 inhabitants of Namibia with European origin. Around 60% of them are Afrikaans-speaking, 25% are German and the rest are English and Portuguese.
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