Last Updated: Monday, 30 May 2016, 14:07 GMT

World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples - Angola : Pastoralists and nomads

Publisher Minority Rights Group International
Publication Date 2008
Cite as Minority Rights Group International, World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples - Angola : Pastoralists and nomads, 2008, available at: [accessed 31 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.


Ambo, Nyaneka-Nkumbi (Nyaneka-Humbe), Herero and other semi-nomadic cattle-keeping peoples live in the south-western provinces.

Scattered bands of San and Kwisi peoples, who live chiefly by hunting, gathering and petty trade, continue their nomadic existence in the southernmost provinces. Little was known about them until research conducted by an NGO coalition was published in 2004.

Historical context

The pastoralists of the south-west have long faced de facto denial of grazing rights, expropriation of land, unfair terms of trade and lack of respect for their traditions. The long civil war had been particularly difficult on the San, who lacked land rights amid increasing encroachment by other peoples, suffered from widespread use of landmines, found it difficult to maintain adequate food security, and lacked access to medical services. The end of the war eased some of these problems and allowed humanitarian organizations to deliver food aid, although this itself can threaten traditional culture.

Current issues

While the San continue to face widespread societal discrimination, and do not participate in Angolan political life, the Angolan government claimed to be weighing land reform that would introduce protections for the land rights of indigenous and pastoral peoples.

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