Black Africa pp 375-381 | Cite as


  • Donald George Morrison
  • Robert Cameron Mitchell
  • John Naber Paden


The Tswana (Batswana or Bechuana) share a common language (Sechuana or Setswana) and a common culture, and regard themselves to be part of a single identity group. Within this larger ethnicity, however, there are a number of distinct sub-groups which are distinguished primarily by lineage patterns. The largest of these, according to the 1964 census, are the Bamangwato (216,058), the Bakwena (65,251), the Bangwaketse (71,289), the Batawana (42,347), the Bakgatla (31,150), the Bamalete (13,861), the Barolong (10,662), the Batlokwa (3,711). It should be noted that Europa Yearbook 1979 (p. 1662) cites a slightly different distribution of these ethnic groups. Under colonial rule these sub-group identities were encapsulated by means of regional boundaries. Minority ethnic groups, such as the Koba, Herero, Kgalagadi, and Bushmen are dispersed throughout the Tswana territories. These, along with 8,000 Europeans, constitute the 3 percent of the population which are not of Tswana ethnicity in 1971.


African Study Language Pattern Minority Ethnic Group Major Ethnic Group African Stud 
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Copyright information

© Irvington Publishers, Inc. 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald George Morrison
    • 1
  • Robert Cameron Mitchell
    • 2
  • John Naber Paden
    • 3
  1. 1.Harvard University Office of Information TechnologyUSA
  2. 2.Northwestern UniversityUSA
  3. 3.George Mason UniversityUSA

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