Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Molefi Kete Asante
The Batonga are a southeastern African ethnic group that can be found in Malawi, Zimbabwe, and Zambia. Their historians say that they originated in a land in northeast Africa and migrated to their present area during a period of political and social unrest. It is also believed that the Batonga are related to the Maravi or the Tumbuka because their languages are similar. However, among the Bantu, it is possible to see similarities in the languages and yet not be able to detect a direct line of descent. The Tonga or Batonga claim to be a separate ethnic group largely because they share a common language and a common name for their group. Their language is called chiTonga , meaning the “language of the Tonga.” The Batonga, for example, do not accept the identification of the Tumbuka or the Maravi. Nevertheless, their identity has been complicated ...