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Khwe

A language of Namibia

ISO 639-3xuu

Population  4,000 in Namibia. 3,600 in West Caprivi and 400 in East Caprivi. Population total all countries: 7,990.
Region  West Caprivi is ‘core land’ of Kxoe people by Kxoe and Namibian government; also in East Caprivi. Also in Angola, Botswana, South Africa, Zambia.
Language map  Namibia, reference number 7
Alternate names   “Barakwena” “Barakwengo” , Khoe, Kxoe, Kxoedam, “Mbarakwena” , “Water Bushmen” , Xun
Dialects  ||Xo-Kxoe, ||Xom-Kxoe, Buma-Kxoe, Buga-Kxoe. Minor dialect differences within Khwe. Related to ||Ani [hnh], Naro [nhr], Nama [naq] but is quite distinct from each of these and not mutually intelligible.
Classification  Khoisan, Southern Africa, Central, Tshu-Khwe, Northwest
Language use  Vigorous. Many non-Khwe learn Khwe for interaction with Khwe. Positive attitude. Also use English or Afrikaans [afr].
Language development  Dictionary. Grammar.
Comments  Hunter-gatherers; fishermen: they still get 25%–50% of their food this way; agriculturalists.

Also spoken in:

Angola

Language name   Khwe
Population  790 in Angola (2000).
Region  Southeast corner, Huthembo (Wuthembo), northeast of Likuwa; Lukamba (Lukanga) west of Rivungu.
Language map  Angola, reference number 5
Alternate names  !Hukwe, Black, Bushman, Cazama, Glanda-Khwe, Hukwe, Kxoe, Kxoedam, “Mbarakwena” , “Mbarakwengo” , Schekere, Vazama, Water Bushmen, Xu, Xuhwe, Xun, Zama
Dialects  Buma-Kxoe.
Comments  Traditional religion, Christian.
 

Botswana

Language name   Khwe
Population  1,800 in Botswana (2004 R. Cook).
Region  Northwest District, Gan, Cadikarauwe, Mohembo, Shakawe, Kaputura, |Ao-Kyao, Sikondomboro, Ngarange, Sekanduko, Xongoa, Cauwe, Moxatce, Dungu, Seronga, Beyetca, Gudigoa, Sicokora, Geixa, ||Qom-ca, Tobere, ‡Umbexa, Djaxo, and Kangwara.
Language map  Botswana
Alternate names  Khoe, Kxoe, “Mbarakwena” , “Water Bushmen” , Xun
Dialects  Buga-Kxoe (Boga, Buga-Khwe, Bukakhwe, “River Bushman” , ||Anikxoe, ||Ani-Khoe, Tannekwe, Gani-Khwe).
Language development  Literacy rate in L2: Buga: 15 to 29 years 70% Tswana [tsn], 50% English; 30 to 54 years 40% Tswana, 10% English.
Comments  Hunter-gatherers; fishermen. Traditional religion, Christian.
 

South Africa

Language name   Khwe
Population  1,100 in South Africa (2000).
Region  Smithsdrift.
Alternate names  Khoe, Kxoe, Mbarakwena, Mbarakwengo, Water Bushmen, Xun
Dialects  ||Ani, Kxoedam.
Comments  Refugees from Caprivi since 1991 living in tents.
 

Zambia

Language name   Khwe
Population  300 in Zambia (2006).
Region  West, east of Zambesi River, Luzu village area, 6 villages; East of Luzu; Sakulinda village; 250 km northwest, southeast Senaga District, 3 remote settlements: Kashesha ki liwanika, Namafumbwana, and Sanze.
Alternate names  !Hukwe, Black Bushman, Cazama, Glanda-Khwe, Hukwe, Kxoe, Mbara Kwengo, Mbarakwena, Schekere, Vazama, Water Bushmen, Xu, Xuhwe, Xun, Zama
Dialects  ||Xo-Kxoe.
Language use  Many in Zambia have given up Khwe to speak the language of their partners and parents. Few speak Lozi [loz], the lingua franca of the area.