Kxoe, Khwe, Xun in Namibia





Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The Khwe that live in the Ngamiland region in the Okavango Delta number around 3000. They live both along the river in the bush and also in the swampland of the Delta. The Khwe use canoes on the river for transportation and in the bush they employ donkey carts or walk. Their dwellings are constructed of sticks covered with either grass or a mud/manure mixture.

They traditionally were a hunter/gatherer community but have recently been settled by the government and prohibited from practicing their traditional lifestyle. They still gather some food in the form of nuts, plants, and fish, but the majority of their food is provided by the government in the form of sorghum, tea, sugar, and flour. Their family structure is patriarchal, meaning that the lineage of a family is traced through the father, and patrilocal, meaning that when married, the couple resides in the husband's father's village. The community is egalitarian with decisions requiring a consensus.

They practice traditional forms of religion including ancestor worship characterized by the trance dance. For enjoyment the people sing and play traditional instruments such as the mouth violin (a hunting bow strung with wire and hit with a stick) but overall the people are depressed due to settlement, marginalization and persecution by the society at large. The needs of the community include medical care due to the high rate of HIV/AIDS infection among the group, education, a means of livelihood, and evangelism. There is no literature in the language of the Khwe and language development is needed and desired by the people.

Profile Source:   Anonymous  

People Name General Kxoe, Khwe, Xun
People Name in Country Kxoe, Khwe, Xun
Population in Namibia 3,100
World Population 7,800
Countries 5
Progress Scale 3.2
Least-Reached No
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Barakwengo, Black Bushman, Boga, Bukakhwe, Buka-Khwe, Bushmen, Gani, Ganin, Huimbe, Hukwe, Kwengo, Mbarakwengo, Namib, Nossub, Water Bushmen, Xu, Xun
Affinity Bloc Sub-Saharan Peoples
People Cluster Khoisan
People Name General Kxoe, Khwe, Xun
Ethnic Code BYG11d
People ID 10676
Country Namibia
Region East and Southern Africa
Continent Africa
10/40 Window No
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country West Caprivi is `core land' of Kxoe people by Kxoe and Namibian government; also in East Caprivi.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Khwe (3,100)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Khwe 3,100
For Primary Language: Khwe

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (2010)
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Jesus Film: view in Khwe Film / Video
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 15.00 %)
20.00 %
Ethnic Religions
80.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
70.0 %
Roman Catholic
30.0 %
Photo Source: Anonymous  
Map Source: Anonymous  
Profile Source: Anonymous  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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