Caprivians

The Caprivians inhabit the thin strip of Land in the extreme northeast of Namibia. In the fertile land that is fed by the Zambezi, Kwando, Linyanti and Chobe Rivers most Caprivians are subsistence farmers. Fishing and hunting are an important part of the part of the local economy, while grazing and farmland are used on a communal basis. The social structure is built on the family as the most important unit. The families live in villages, which are represented by the senior headman at the tribal councils known as kutas.

The Caprivi Strip is a relatively wild and remote area. Eastern Caprivi is home to about 80 000 people, who live in an area that is dominated by Southern Africa’s big rivers and poses an extreme contrast to the rest of the country. When the Zambezi and Chobe Rivers flood, half of eastern Caprivi is under water. The Caprivians use their traditional dug-out canoes (mikolo) as transport in these times.

Caprivian groups are the Masubia, the Mafwe, the Mayeyi, the Matotela, the Mashi and the Mbukushu. The Masubias follow a patrilineal rule of succession while the Mafwe are matrilineally orientated. Caprivians are linguistically related to Zambia’s Lozi and Makololo people of the Barotseland.