The Basarwa and Bakgalagadi Communities
The San, the Khoi and Bakgalagadi
The Khoi (or Khoikhoi or Hottentot), the San and Bakgalagadi are spread across much of the southern Africa region.
In Botswana there are three San groups, twelve Khoi groups and more than five Bakgalagadi sub-groups.
The San communities
- !Xoo - The !Xoo San group is mainly found in settlements such as Hukuntsi, Inalegolo, Lehututu, Ncojane, Khakhea, Mabutsane and Sekoma.
- Hua - The Hua may be found in the Kweneng District settlements of Khekhenye and Dutlwe.
- Ju'haonsi - This group is found in two different districts of Gantsi and Ngamiland. They occupy settlements such as Kuke, Xaodum, Tsodilo, Qooshe and Nxaunxau.
The Khoi communities
Amongst the many Khoi groups, there are five that stand out as the larger, distinctive and more popular communities.
- Gana - The Gana are mainly found in Kuke, Gantsi and New Xade settlements.
- Gwi - Almost related to the Gana, the Gwi are only found in Botswana, in the settlements of New Xade, Hanahai, Kacgae and Gantsi.
- Nama - This group also exists in Namibia. In Botswana the Nama are found in D'Kar, Charles'Hill, Hukuntsi, Tsabong and Bokspits.
- Naro - Considered one of the main Khoi groups, the Naro are found in Xau, Hanahai, Tshobokwane, Kuke, Gweta and Gumare
- Kx'auei - The group is found mainly in Gantsi District in the settlements of Xanagas, Kuke, Hanahai, Karakubis and Ncojane.
Other Khoi groups include the Kui, Ora, Ganda, Haise, Xam, Thoa and Haba.
The Bakgalagadi community
Bakgalagadi or Bakgalagari are a Bantu group just like the Batswana, Bakalanga and Batswapong ethnic groups. They are a section of the Batswana of Sotho-Tswana origins.
In fact Kalahari Desert and Kgalagadi District derive their names form the Bakgalagadi.
'Bakgalagadi' means people of the Kgalagadi or Kalahari.
Just like the Khoi and the San, Bakgalagadi migrated into Botswana and settled in the Kalahari Desert. All the three groups spread across the entire area of both Gantsi and Kgalagadi Districts.
There are many sub-groups that belong to the Bakgalagadi. These include the Bashaga, Bangologa, Baphaleng, Bakgwatheng, Bakhena and Balala.
Return to History of Botswana page
Return to KnowBotswana homepage