Boni language

Native to Kenya
Region Coast Province, North-Eastern Province
Ethnicity Aweer
Native speakers
8,000  (2007)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 bob
Glottolog awee1242[2]
Linguasphere 14-GAF-a

Aweer (Aweera), also known as Boni (Bon, Bonta), is a Cushitic language spoken in Kenya. Historically known in the literature by the derogatory term Boni, the Aweer people are foragers traditionally subsisting on hunting, gathering, and collecting honey. Their ancestral lands range along the Kenyan coast from the Lamu and Ijara Districts into Southern Somalia's Badaade District. [3]

According to Ethnologue, there are around 8,000 speakers of Aweer or Boni. Aweer has similarities with the Garre (Boni).[4][5][6] However, its speakers are physically and culturally distinct from the Aweer people.[7]

Evidence suggests that the Aweer/Boni are remnants of the early hunter-gatherer inhabitants of Eastern Africa. According to linguistic, anthropological and other data, these groups later came under the influence and adopted the Afro-Asiatic languages of the Eastern and Southern Cushitic peoples who moved into the area.[8]


  1. ^ Aweer at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Aweer". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ A.H.J. Prins. 1960 Notes on the Boni, a Tribe of Hunters in Northern Kenya. Bulletin of the International Committee on Urgent Anthropological and Ethnological Research. Vol. 1 (3): 25-27; 1963 The Didemic Diarchic Boni. The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. Vol. 93 (2): 174-85.
  4. ^ Raymond G. Gordon, Jr, ed. 2005. Ethnologue: Languages of the World. 15th edition. Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics.
  5. ^ Ethnologue - Garre language
  6. ^ Tosco, Mauro (1994). "The Historical Reconstruction of a Southern Somali Dialect: Proto-Karre-Boni". Sprache und Geschichte in Afrika 15: 153–209. 
  7. ^ Ethnologue - Aweer language
  8. ^ Mohamed Amin, Peter Moll (1983). Portraits of Africa. Harvill Press. p. 16. ISBN . 

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