Ovambo Tribe Ovambo Tradition Ovambo Traditional Dress Owambo Owambo Map Ovamboland Owambo Culture Oshiwambo Culture
| Ovambo_people | Ovamboland | Finnish_Missionary_Society | Ovambo | Uukwaluudhi | Uukwanyama | Uukwambi | Ovambo_language | National_Democratic_Party_(Namibia) | South_West_African_Native_Labour_Association | Martha_Nelumbu | Shilongo_Uukule | Mandume_Ya_Ndemufayo | Olukonda | Termitomyces_schimperi | William_Worthington_Jordan | Rupara | Ambo | Helvi_Mpingana_Kondombolo |
||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (September 2009)|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Other Bantu peoples|
The Aawambo or Ambo people (endonyms Aawambo [Ndonga], Ovawambo [Kwanyama]) consist of a number of kindred Bantu ethnic groups which inhabit Ovamboland in northern Namibia as well as the southernmost Angolan province Cunene. In Namibia, these are the AaNdonga, Ovakwanyama, Aakwambiga, Aangandjera, Aambalantu, Aambadja, Aakolonkadhi and Aakwaluudhi. In Angola, they are the Ovakwanyama, Aakafima, Evale and Aandonga. They are the largest ethnic group in Namibia.
The Ambo people migrated south from the upper regions of Zambezi and currently make up the greatest population in Namibia. The reason that they settled in the area where they now live was for the rich soil that is scattered around the Ovamboland. The Ambo population is overall roughly 1,500,000.
The Ambo are part of the great Oshindonga and other dialects.
Flat sandy plains of Northern Namibia and Southern Angola make up Ovamboland, with water courses that bisect the area. These are known as oshanas. In the northern regions of the Ovamboland there are thick belts of tropical vegetation. The average rainfall in this area is around 17 inches during the rainy season. The oshanas can become flooded and sometimes submerge three-fifths of the region. This poses a unique problem for the Ambo people as they have to adapt to the changing weather patterns. In the dry season they are able to use the grassy plains for stock to graze upon.
The Aawambo have been able to adapt to their land and their environment. They raise cattle, fish in the oshanas, and farming. They are skilled craftsmen. They make and sell basketry, pottery, jewelry, wooden combs, wood iron spears, arrows, richly decorated daggers, musical instruments, and also ivory buttons.
In recent times, most Aawambo consider themselves Lutheran. Finnish missionaries arrived in Owamboland in the 1870s and replaced most of the traditional beliefs with Christian traditions, but a few traditions still carry on. As a result of the missionaries, almost all Aawambo people wear Western-style clothes and listen to Western-style music. They still have traditional dancing that involves drumming, but most of the lyrics have been rewritten as political campaign songs for SWAPO. Most weddings are a combination of Christian beliefs and Aawambo traditions.
The traditional Elugo. Most families collect water from a nearby public tap.
Most families have a large plot of land, and their primary crop is frogs.
Traditionally, the Owambo people lived a life that was highly influenced by a combination of magic and religion. They not only believed in good and evil spirits but also they are influenced by missionaries and the majority are Lutheran or Catholic.
Beliefs among the Owambo people centre around their belief in Kalunga. For example, when a tribe member wants to enter the chief's kraal, they must first remove their sandals. It is said that if this person does not remove their sandals it will bring death to one of the royal inmates and throw the kraal into mourning. Another belief deals with burning fire in the chief's kraal. If the fire burns out, the chief and the tribe will disappear. An important ceremony takes place at the end of the harvest, where the entire community has a feast and celebrates.
Each tribe has a chief that is responsible for the tribe, although many have converted to running tribal affairs with a council of headmen. Members of the royal family of the Owamboland are known as aakwanekamba and only those who belong to this family by birth have a claim to chieftainship. Because descent is matrilineal, these relations must fall on the mother's side. The chief's own sons have no claim in the royal family. They grow up as regular members of the tribe.
Ovambo brew a traditional liquor called Ombike. It is distilled from fermented fruit mash and particularly popular in rural areas. The fruit to produce Ombike are collected from 
The following table contains the names, areas, dialect names and the locations of the Ovambo tribes according to T. E. Tirronen's Ndonga-English Dictionary. The table also contains information concerning which noun class of the Proto-Bantu language the words belong to.
|Classes 9 (*ny > on-), 11 (uu-/ou-)||Class 2 (*wa-, a-)||Class 7 (*ki > oshi-)|
|Ou-kwanyama||Ova-kwanyama||Oshi-kwanyama||Northern and Eastern Ovamboland, Angola|
|O-mbadja||Ova-mbadja||Oshi-mbadja||Angola, Shangalala vicinity|