ETHNIC GROUPS AND LANGUAGES
Displaced persons walk to a camp in Cuanza Sul Province.
Courtesy Richard J. Hough
Although Portuguese was Angola's official language, the
majority of Angolans (more than 95 percent of the total
used languages of the Bantu family--some closely related,
remotely so--that were spoken by most Africans living
south of the
equator and by substantial numbers north of it.
Angola's remaining indigenous peoples fell into two
categories. A small number, all in southern Angola, spoke
Click languages (after a variety of sounds characteristic
and differed physically from local African populations.
speakers shared characteristics, such as small stature and
skin color, linking them to the hunting and gathering
southern Africa sometimes referred to by Europeans as
second category consisted of mestiços, largely
living in western Angola. Most spoke Portuguese, although
also acquainted with African languages, and a few may have
such a language exclusively.
Data as of February 1989