Nyamwezi

Print

A language of Tanzania

Alternate Names
Kinyamuesi, Kinyamwesi, Kinyamwezi, Manjamuesi, Mwezi, Namwezi, Nyamwesi, Nyawezi
Population

1,320,000 (2013 J. Leclerc). 73% are in the traditional area.

Location

Tabora region: between Lake Victoria and Lake Rukwa; Rukwa and Kigoma regions.

Language Maps
Language Status

6a (Vigorous).

Dialects

Nyanyembe, Takama (Garaganza), Mweri (Kiya, Konongo, Sumbwa), Galaganza, Nangwila, Ilwana (Kilwana), Uyui, Rambo, Ndaala (Ndala), Nyambiu. Lexical similarity: 84% with Sukuma [suk], 61% with Sumbwa [suw], 56% with Nilamba [nim]. Dialect Continuum with Sukuma.

Language Use

Vigorous in some areas. Swahili [swh] used increasingly in other areas. All ages. Positive attitudes. Used as L2 by Kimbu [kiv].

Language Development
Dictionary. Grammar. NT: 1909–1951.
Writing

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Smaller groups (Konongo, Galla, Sumbwa) were part of Unyamwezi Kingdom and are still often considered part of the Nyamwezi people group by the Nyamwezi. Christian, Muslim, traditional religion.