africa map quiz

March 15, 2018 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Awards

Bantu peoples is used as a general label for the 300–600 ethnic groups in Africa who speak Bantu languages. They inhabit a geographical area stretching east and southward from Central Africa across the African Great Lakes region down to Southern Africa. Bantu is a major branch of the Niger–Congo language family spoken by most populations in Africa. There are about 650 Bantu languages by the criterion of mutual intelligibility, though the distinction between language and dialect is often unclear, and Ethnologue counts 535 languages.
Around 3,000 years ago, speakers of the Proto-Bantu language group began a millennia-long series of migrations eastward from their homeland between West Africa and Central Africa, at the border of eastern Nigeria and Cameroon. This Bantu expansion first introduced Bantu peoples to central, southern and southeastern Africa, regions they had previously been absent from. The proto-Bantu migrants in the process assimilated and/or displaced a number of earlier inhabitants that they came across, such as Pygmy and Khoisan populations in the centre and south, respectively. They also encountered some Afro-Asiatic outlier groups in the southeast who had been there for centuries, having migrated from Northeast Africa.
Individual Bantu groups today often comprise millions of people. Among these are the Ndebele and Shona of Zimbabwe with 14.2 million people; the Luba of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with over 13.5 million people; the Zulu of South Africa, with over 10 million people; the Tiv of central Nigeria and Cameroon, with almost 10 million people; the Sukuma of Tanzania, with around eight million people; and the Kikuyu of Kenya, with over six million people. Although only around five million individuals speak the Arabic-influenced Swahili language as their mother tongue, it is used as a lingua franca by over 140 million people throughout Southeast Africa. Swahili also serves as one of the official languages of the African Union.

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