“Ocamine”: First Steps in Mucubal

| Fiona Killough

Today was awesome. This morning we got to connect a little with some of the people that we came to Angola to serve, the people of the Mucubal tribe! David and I are still digesting much of what we learned in just a few hours spent getting to know some new friends, but needless to say, we are excited!

We packed up the kids this morning and drove a couple of hours away from Namibe, into the desert to a small town called Muninho. We met up with a native missionary couple, who are working on an oral Bible translation project with the Mucubal. In Angola, the missionary community is small, and usually works together really well, so we were thrilled to be able to get to know this couple and the work that they are doing. We learned a lot about the culture of the Mucubal, and our first few words of their language!

“Ocamine” means “Good Morning”, written in Fiona phonetics given that there’s no written language for Mucubal. Note taking is going to be interesting as we learn!

I’ll let a few pictures do the rest of the talking…

Our gathering

Apologies that I failed to capture a couple of people’s heads in this picture! I was trying to demonstrate that throughout the morning, our group represented people from four countries and three tribal groups. We spoke in three languages in total. No wonder we were tired on the way home!

Today the group are discussing on how best to translate Jesus' death on the cross, and are lead by our new friend Sebastião. Translation takes place word by word, with some words causing much more difficulty than others!

Today the group are discussing on how best to translate Jesus’ death on the cross, and are lead by our new friend Sebastião. Translation takes place word by word, with some words causing much more difficulty than others!

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Our group: us, our native missionary friend, and three of his Mucubal translators that are working on an oral Bible translation. Why an oral translation? Because Mucubal isn’t a written language. Not even a written alphabet exists yet!

Getting to know Angola's tribal languages is a huge mission, but an absolutely necessary one, as many of the speakers don't speak a language that already has a Bible translation. This diagram was put together by our friend Linda who conducts language surveys and assesses Bible translation needs. It shows overlaps with other language groups and shared likenesses between ethnic groups. Her work is really useful for people like us, who come in to work with a tribe , as from her reports, we can gain an understanding of the context of a culture. The Mucubal tribe, that we are initially focussing on, fall under the Kuvale group.

Getting to know Angola’s tribal languages is a huge mission, but an absolutely necessary one, as many of the speakers don’t speak a language that already has a Bible translation. This diagram was put together by our friend Linda who conducts language surveys and assesses Bible translation needs. It shows overlaps with other language groups and shared likenesses between ethnic groups. Her work is really useful for people like us, who come in to work with a tribe , as from her reports, we can gain an understanding of the context of a culture. The Mucubal tribe, that we are initially focussing on, fall under the Kuvale group.

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Ivy got in on the act of sandal making while Pedro worked on a new pair of leather flip flops from a piece of cow hide and a couple of round stones.

The girls did their thing and made new friends too. Everyone loves to color, right?

The girls did their thing and made new friends too. Everyone loves to color, right?

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Faith and Ivy were in love with the puppies that were tucked back there by the water tank!



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