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.
1835A. SmithDiary (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.
1839W.C. HarrisWild Sports 230We resolved to proceed immediately to the country of the Bakone, or Baquaina, where cameleopards were reported..to be very abundant.
1857D. LivingstoneMissionary 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.
1866J. LeylandAdventures 196Koselensi, Sechele’s brother, for some time had the management of a section of the Bakwains located about ten miles from Kolobeng.
1871J. MackenzieTen 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.
1930S.T. PlaatjeMhudi (1975) 87Six Bechuana..had come in overnight, bringing tribute from the loyal Bakwena — another Bechuana tribe which venerates the crocodile.
1939N. Devitt inOutspan 26 May 83The Bakwena, for instance, are the ‘People of the Crocodile’. The tribesman is loyal to his ‘siboko’ or tribal name.
1949C. BullockRina 27You might find some strange things there among the BaKwena, the Crocodile people.
1951R. GriffithsGrey 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.
196940th Annual Report (S.A.I.R.R.) 19It..considered..the Batlharos, the Bakwena, Ba-Mohapo and other ‘black spot’ removals.
1985Platzky & WalkerSurplus 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.
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