The Mbukushu in Angola

A History of Migration, Flight and Royal Rainmaking among the Mbukushu in Angola.
Fisch, Maria
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The Mbukushu in Angola

Author: Maria Fisch
Series: History, Cultural Traditions and Innovations in Southern Africa, Vol. 11
Publisher: Rüdiger Köppe Verlag
Köln, 2005
ISBN 978-3-89645-350-1
Softcover, 16x24 cm, 99 pages, 1 map, 16 bw-photos


The history of the Bantu-speaking Mbukushu can be traced back to the first half of the 18th century. Is characterised by long migrations and repeated divisions.

The original home of their ancestors was at Musuma far in the north along a western tributary of the upper Zambezi River, from where they were dislodged by the invading Luyi.

The Nyengo, who submitted to the invaders and remained living in that region, still speak a dialect similar to Thimbukushu up to the present.

After a long and eventful migration, the Mbukushu settled in south-eastern Angola. Four decades later, in about 1790, a severe drought afflicted the region and forced many people to emigrate.

The bulk of the Mbukushu moved to the Okavango Region of present-day Namibia where they expelled, subjugated or absorbed the original inhabitants

For nearly a century, the traditional centre of the Mbukushu was located on an island in the Okavango River. The island of Thipanana is only one kilometre from the village of Mukwe on the mainland where the tribal centre was built in modem times.

In the literature, the ancient capital Thipanana is usually referred to as "Libebe" or "Andara". Libebe is a dialectal variation used by the Gciriku and Tswana when referring to Fumu (chief) Diyeve, with whom the first European travellers came into contact after travelling across South Africa and Botswana in the early 1850's. Andara is a European corruption of Ndara, who was Diyeve's successor and is better known as Dimbu I. (...)

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