Bakwena, plural noun

α. Bacquains, BakoenaShow more Bacquains, Bakoena, Bakone, Bakuena, Bakuéna, Bakwain, Bakwains, Bakwena, Bakwenas, Ba-Kwena, Baquaina, Baquana, Baquans;
β. Kwena.
SeTswanaShow more SeTswana, ba- + Kwena, perhaps the name of an ancestral chief (literally ‘crocodile’, the totem of these people). For an explanation of unprefixed forms and forms with -s, see ba-.
(The) members of a Tswana people living mainly in the western Transvaal North West Province and Botswana. Also attributive. See also Bamangwato, Tswana sense 2 a.
The unprefixed form ‘Kwena’ is found mainly in academic contexts.
As is the case with many names of peoples and groups in South African English, this word has been found only in plural uses; however, it may be that it has also been used in unrecorded singular forms.
1835 A. Smith Diary (1940) II. 75Perhaps Baquana was originally derived from Quana and implies ‘they of the crocodile,’ or the chief might have had his name from that reptile and the people were called so as the people of that chief.
1839 W.C. Harris Wild Sports 230We resolved to proceed immediately to the country of the Bakone, or Baquaina, where cameleopards were be very abundant.
1857 D. Livingstone Missionary Trav. 13The different Bechuana tribes are named after certain animals...The term Bakatla means ‘they of the monkey’; Bakuena, ‘they of the alligator’; Batlapi, ‘they of the fish’; each tribe having a superstitious dread of the animal after which it is called.
1866 J. Leyland Adventures 196Koselensi, Sechele’s brother, for some time had the management of a section of the Bakwains located about ten miles from Kolobeng.
1871 J. Mackenzie Ten Yrs N. of Orange River 247Here dwell the Mkololo..who in their northward journey conquered the Bankweketse, the Bakwena, and other tribes in that region.
1905 Native Tribes of Tvl 102Setyeli or Secheli, chief of the Bechuana tribe called Ba-Kwena, who lived on the Koloberg near the western border in the Potchefstroom district.
1930 S.T. Plaatje Mhudi (1975) 87Six Bechuana..had come in overnight, bringing tribute from the loyal Bakwena — another Bechuana tribe which venerates the crocodile.
1939 N. Devitt in Outspan 26 May 83The Bakwena, for instance, are the ‘People of the Crocodile’. The tribesman is loyal to his ‘siboko’ or tribal name.
1949 C. Bullock Rina 27You might find some strange things there among the BaKwena, the Crocodile people.
1951 R. Griffiths Grey about Flame 50The people of this land are known as the BaKwena. Once they were mighty warriors and took tribute up and down the country.
1969 40th Annual Report (S.A.I.R.R.) 19It..considered..the Batlharos, the Bakwena, Ba-Mohapo and other ‘black spot’ removals.
1985 Platzky & Walker Surplus People 385The government is ‘motivating people to move voluntarily’. But if, as the Bakwena of Mogopa were told, they refuse to move voluntarily, they will be moved by GG trucks.
1977 T.R.H. Davenport S. Afr.: Mod. Hist. 7The Kwena..dispersed during the sixteenth century from a centre in the western trans-Vaal, and spread westwards..and south-eastwards.
1986 P. Maylam Hist. of Afr. People 120In the mid-nineteenth century the Kwena were the most powerful and prominent of the Tswana chiefdoms.
(The) members of a Tswana people living mainly in the western Transvaal North West Province and Botswana. Also attributive.
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