Aweer language

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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 of Eastern Kenya. The Aweer people, known by the arguably derogatory exonym "Boni," are historically a hunter gatherer people, traditionally subsisting on hunting, gathering, and collecting honey.[3] Their ancestral lands range along the Kenyan coast from the Lamu and Ijara Districts into Southern Somalia's Badaade District.[4]

According to Ethnologue, there are around 8,000 speakers of Aweer. Aweer has similarities with the Garre language,[5][6][7] however, its speakers are ethnically distinct from Garre speakers.[8]

Evidence suggests that the Aweer 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 of Eastern and Southern Cushitic peoples and adopted Afro-Asiatic languages.[9]


  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. ^ Biber, Douglas; Heine, Bernd (1984). "The Waata Dialect of Oromo: Grammatical Sketch and Vocabulary". Language. 60 (4): 992. doi:10.2307/413828. ISSN 0097-8507. JSTOR 413828.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ Raymond G. Gordon Jr., ed. 2005. Ethnologue: Languages of the World. 15th edition. Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics.
  6. ^ Ethnologue - Garre language
  7. ^ Tosco, Mauro (1994). "The Historical Reconstruction of a Southern Somali Dialect: Proto-Karre-Boni". Sprache und Geschichte in Afrika. 15: 153–209.
  8. ^ "Ethnologue - Aweer language". Archived from the original on 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2014-09-17.
  9. ^ Mohamed Amin, Peter Moll (1983). Portraits of Africa. Harvill Press. p. 16. ISBN 978-0002726399.

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