Aweer language

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'"Bon Language" redirects here. For the language spoken in Cameroon, see Bankon language.
Native toKenya
RegionCoast Province, North-Eastern Province
Native speakers
7,600 (2009 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3bob

Aweer (Aweera), also known as Boni (Bon, Bonta), is a Cushitic language spoken in Kenya. Historically known in the literature by the derogatory term Boni, the Aweer people are foragers traditionally subsisting on hunting, gathering, and collecting honey. Their ancestral lands range along the Kenyan coast from the Lamu and Ijara Districts into Southern Somalia's Badaade District.[3]

According to Ethnologue, there are around 8,000 speakers of Aweer or Boni. Aweer has similarities with the Garre language.[4][5][6] However, its speakers are physically and culturally distinct from Garre speakers.[7]

Evidence suggests that the Aweer/Boni are remnants of the early hunter-gatherer inhabitants of Eastern Africa. According to linguistic, anthropological and other data, these groups later came under the influence and adopted the Afro-Asiatic languages of the Eastern and Southern Cushitic peoples who moved into the area.[8]


  1. ^ Aweer at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Aweer". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ A.H.J. Prins. 1960 Notes on the Boni, a Tribe of Hunters in Northern Kenya. Bulletin of the International Committee on Urgent Anthropological and Ethnological Research. Vol. 1 (3): 25-27; 1963 The Didemic Diarchic Boni. The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. Vol. 93 (2): 174-85.
  4. ^ Raymond G. Gordon Jr., ed. 2005. Ethnologue: Languages of the World. 15th edition. Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics.
  5. ^ Ethnologue - Garre language
  6. ^ Tosco, Mauro (1994). "The Historical Reconstruction of a Southern Somali Dialect: Proto-Karre-Boni". Sprache und Geschichte in Afrika. 15: 153–209.
  7. ^ Ethnologue - Aweer language
  8. ^ Mohamed Amin, Peter Moll (1983). Portraits of Africa. Harvill Press. p. 16. ISBN 0002726394.

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