Clan names form an integral part of all Bantu ethnic groups in South Africa. However, they are most prominent across the Nguni nation groups which include the AmaXhosa, AmaZulu, AmaSwazi and AmaNdebele.
Clan names are not surnames. Surnames are passed down from the father’s side of the family while the clan name system honours ancestors, and they run across multiple families.
To put it another way, clans are groups of families with different surnames and one clan name unifying them. Clans make up a tribe which in turn make up a nation such as the AmaXhosa.
Table of Clan Names
Clan Names Across Tribes
In South Africa, clan names are an important part of many indigenous cultures and are often used to identify a person’s ancestry or lineage.