From the name of the clan’s first leader, Bomvana ‘little brownish one’.
A member of an Nguni people speaking a dialect of Xhosa and living mainly in the Transkei (now the north-eastern part of the Eastern Cape). Also attributive.
1828W. Shaw Diary. 29 JuneThe tribes beyond the Bashee to the Umtata, near the coast are called Amabomvana,..together they form a considerable body of people, but seem to possess less spirit and activity than the Caffres, and they are comparatively a poor people.
1901Natives of S. Afr. (S. Afr. Native Races Committee) 14The Xesibese in Matatiele; the Bomvanas in Elliotdale; the Bechuanas in Griqualand West.
1952H. KleinLand of Silver Mist 31Every writer on Pondoland, all of whom have been intrigued by the origin of the pale-skinned Abelungu who are scattered in the rugged hill country of the Bomvanas.
1970Std Encycl. of Sn Afr.II. 405The Bomvanas originally belonged to a larger Xhosa tribe, the Amatshezi, but were driven out of Pondoland early in the 19th century, and were thus separated from the main body of their people.
1972Daily Dispatch 10 Aug. 14A very pretentious Bomvana Once slipped on a piece of banana.
1973Evening Post 27 Jan. 2The juvenile Prophetess, Nongquase, who had been protected, was conducted to the Great Place of Moni,..Chief of the Bomvana people residing beyond the Bashee River.
1981Bona Jan. 22By becoming chieftainess of the Amabomvana tribe, she automatically becomes a member of the Transkeian Parliament.
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