Tjimba people

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The Cimba [tʃimba], also spelled Tjimba, are a remote, Herero-speaking hunter-gatherer people of the Kaokoveld desert in northwest Namibia and southwest Angola, in the mountain ranges bordering the Kunene River. They continue to use stone tools, and use Adenium boehmianum to poison their arrows.[1]

Their Herero neighbors portray them as Herero who have lost their cattle and are therefore impoverished, but they are a distinct people, both culturally and physically.[2] Indeed, physically they seem to be a remnant of an indigenous population of a southern African type—along with the Kwadi, the Kwisi, and the Damara—that are unlike either the San (Bushmen) or the Bantu Herero.[3]


  1. ^ Neuwinger, Hans Dieter. 1996. African ethnobotany: poisons and drugs : chemistry, pharmacology, toxicology, p. 97.
  2. ^ McCalman, H.R. and B.J. Grobbelaar 1965. Preliminary report of two stone-working OvaTjimba groups in the Northern Kaokoveld of south West Africa. Cimbebasia 13:1–39.
  3. ^ Blench, Roger. 1999. "Are the African Pygmies an Ethnographic Fiction?". Pp 41–60 in Biesbrouck, Elders, & Rossel (eds.) Challenging Elusiveness: Central African Hunter-Gatherers in a Multidisciplinary Perspective. Leiden.[1]