Kamba language

Kamba/ˈkæmbə/[4], or Kikamba, is a Bantu language that is spoken by the Kamba people of Kenya. It is also spoken by 5,000 people in Tanzania (Thaisu).

Kamba has lexical similarities to other Bantu languages such as Kikuyu, Meru and Embu.

In Kenya, Kamba is generally spoken in four counties: Machakos, Kitui, Makueni, and Kwale. The Machakos variety is considered the standard variety and has been used in translation.

Dance song. Male solo. Akamba. Machakos. 1911-12.
Dance song. Machakos. Akamba. 1911-12

The Swedish National Museums of World Culture holds field recordings of kamba language made by Swedish ethnographer Gerhard Lindblom in 1911-12.[5] Lindblom used phonograph cylinders to record songs along with other means of documentation in writing and photography. He also gathered objects, and later presented his work in The Akamba in British East Africa (1916).

Native toKenya, Tanzania
RegionMachakos, Kitui, Makueni and Shimba Hills
Native speakers
3.9 million (2009 census)[1]
600,000 L2 speakers
Language codes
ISO 639-2kam
ISO 639-3Either:
kam – Kamba
dhs – Dhaiso (Thaisu)


  1. ^ Kamba at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Dhaiso (Thaisu) at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Kamba (Kenya)". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Jouni Filip Maho, 2009. New Updated Guthrie List Online
  4. ^ Laurie Bauer, 2007, The Linguistics Student’s Handbook, Edinburgh
  5. ^ "Historier från samlingarna | Newly digitized 100-year-old recordings bring African song and dance to life". samlingar.varldskulturmuseerna.se. Retrieved 2018-06-13.


  • Mwau, John Harun (2006). Kikamba Dictionary: Kikamba-English, Kikamba-Kikamba, English-Kikamba. ISBN 9966-773-09-6.

External links

Bembe language (Kibembe)

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Maho (2009) considers Beembe, Kamba-Doondo, and Hangala (Ghaangala) to be distinct languages.

It should not be confused with the Bembe language (Ibembe) spoken in Congo-Kinshasa and Tanzania.

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The Bible, or portions of it, have been translated into over 1,000 languages of Africa. Many of these are indexed by the Forum of Bible Agencies, Find.Bible site and available online in text and audio form, as print on demand versions, or through churches and book sellers. This effort continues. Not all are (yet) listed below.

Chiquitano language

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Joseph Thomas Last

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In 1872 Last was ordained at the Church Missionary College. From 1874 to 1876 he was in East Africa at the mission at Kisulutini. He briefly returned to Britain and then in 1877 he was appointed to the Usagara Mission at Mpwapwa. In 1880 he founded a new station at Mamboya in the Nguru mountains. After seven years in East Africa he returned to Britain in December 1884. Later he was associated with Royal Geographical Society and the Imperial British East Africa Company. He visited Portuguese East Africa in 1885, explored the Namuli Mountains and discovered the caves at Mangapwani in Zanzibar.

Last made important collections of African Lepidoptera and Mollusca.


Kamba may refer to:

Kamba people of Kenya

Bena-Kamba, a community in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Khampa, also spelled Kamba, Tibetan people of Kham

Kamba language (disambiguation)

Kamba language (Kenya)

Kamba may also refer to:

Kaamba language (Congo)

Kamba language (New Guinea)

an alternative name for Chiriguano Guarani

Kamba people of Brazil, who identify as and speak Chiquitano

Kamba people

The Kamba or Akamba people are a Bantu ethnic group - or tribe - who live in the eastern and south eastern areas of Kenya, formerly Eastern Province of Kenya stretching east from Nairobi to Tsavo and north up to Embu, Kenya. This land is called Ukambani which constitutes of Makueni County, Kitui County and Machakos County and coastal Counties of Kwale, Mombasa and Kilifi. Kambas are also found in parts of Tana River County.

Sources vary on whether Kambas are the third, fourth or fifth largest ethnic group in Kenya. They make up to 11 percent of Kenya's population. They speak the Bantu Kikamba language as a mother tongue. The Kamba are predominantly based in Machakos, Kitui and Makueni Counties of Kenya. The total population of the Kamba stands at approximately 4.1 million. The Kamba are also called Akamba or Wakamba.


Kitui is a town in Kenya, 180 kilometres east of Nairobi and 105 kilometres east of Machakos. Due to political reforms, Kitui is now the headquarters of Kitui County, which covers a larger area than the former Kitui District did. As a consequence, the city has become a natural meeting point for politicians and businessmen therefore, most of the hotels are expanding.

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Wagi language

Wagi, also known as Kamba or Foran, is a Papuan language of Papua New Guinea.

Official languages
Sign languages
Urban languages


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