The Kavango People

The Kavango River in north eastern Namibia forms part of the border between Namibia and Angola and also serves as the focal point of the Kavango people. The major center in this region is the town of Rundu. There are about 140 000 Kavango people in Namibia, and they can be broken into five groups, Mbukushu, Sambiyu, Kwangari, Mbunza and Geiriku.

The traditional home of the Kavango people is the Kavango East and Kavango West regions in north eastern Namibia. Traditionally Kavangos make their living from fishing, cattle, and the farming of sorghum, millet and maize. The Kavangos are closely related to the Owambo people and both are thought to have originated in east Africa.

Each tribe is headed by a traditional chief, who is assisted by headmen. The chief has power over his entire tribe and is responsible for the allocation of land. Although the Kavango chiefs are always male, the system is mostly matrilineal.

The Kavango regions are well known for its wood carvers, and the Kavango are responsible for the majority of wood carvings you will find in Namibia.

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