Humbi people


Humbi / Muhumbi / Nkumbi / Khumbi / Ngumbi / Nkhumbi / Ocinkumbi

Population & Ecosystem

150.000 Muhumbi people live the fertile plains around Cunene River between the towns of Humbe and Xangongo. (Angola)

Economy & Society

Muhumbi are mainly cattle herders but also practice commercial and subsistence agriculture along the Cunene River. Many young men leave the villages to find jobs in towns and cities.

Muhumbi have a tribal chief who serves as the head of the tribe followed by a headman. Serving under the headman are the elders. Conflicts are resolved by the elders and the headman. A diviner is also often called upon.

Culture & Religion

Muhumbi speak Nyaneka language. Most Muhumbi have converted to Christianity and only the elder generations worship the African Gods. The most stunning aspect of visual Muhumbi culture are the complex hairdos practiced to young women undergoing ‘fico’ or rite of passage (13-16 years old). There are two existing styles; the ‘elephant ears’ style and the crest style.


Sources: Joan Riera - Anthropologist (