Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Links about the Damara people and language

Amy works in an area of Namibia heavily populated by a people group called the Damara. Their background is somewhat mysterious because they are of Bantu origin but share a language with the Khoisan people.

A few definitions will show why things can get confusing:

--Bantu - A major group of related African ethnic cultures and languages who share similar physical features and who inhabit much of Africa south of the Sahara. They probably originated in the area near Nigeria/Ghana.

--Khoisan - Another major group of related African ethnic cultures and languages (different from the Bantu) who share similar physical features. Their languages are characterized by clicking and popping sounds. They are generally found in the southernmost countries of Africa. also see The Khoisan

--Nama - the name given to a subset of the Khoisan people group and also the language they speak (also called KhoeKhoegowab).

--Damara - the name of a tribe of people of Bantu (not Nama) origin who speak a dialect of Nama or KhoeKhoegowab.

About the Damara people:

The Damara People of Namibia

The Damara

Photographs of the Damara People

Links to pages about the language Amy is learning. The broad language group is called "Nama" (also called Khoekhoegowab). Damara is a dialect and is spoken by about 100,000 people:

The Nama language

Nama language of Namibia

Map of language groups in Namibia

KhoeKhoegowab language lessons

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