Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Ovambo (Ovampo), a large Bantu nation of south-west Africa, who give their name to the region (Ovamboland) which stretches from the Cunene river southwards to Damaraland. The Ovambo, i.e. "Settled People," are so called by their Damara (Herero) neighbours because all are agriculturists, living in fixed settlements about the lagoons and watercourses south of the Cunene. They have themselves no collective national name, but form twelve distinct and mostly hostile groups, of which the most powerful are the Ondongas, who claim a sort of over-lordship over all the rest. It was the Ondonga chief who in 1884 sold a vast tract of land south of Lake Etosha to the "Afrikander" Jordan, founder of the ephemeral Boer republic of Upingtonia. By the Treaty of Lisbon of 1886 the Ovambo territory was divided into two sections, the northern being annexed to the Portuguese colony of Angola, the southern to the German protectorate of south-west Africa. The Ovambos, who are a fine race, tall, robust and well-proportioned with Negroid features, speak several marked dialects of a Bantu language closely related to that of their Ova-Herero neighbours. (Galton, Palgrave, Schinz, Von Francois.)