Lemba people

Lembangoma lungunduLemba Masarira clanVhalemba
The Lemba, wa-Remba, or Mwenye are a Bantu ethnic group native to Zimbabwe and South Africa, with smaller, little-known branches in Mozambique and Malawi.wikipedia
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Tudor Parfitt

Parfitt, Tudor
According to Tudor Parfitt, Professor of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, in 2002 they numbered an estimated 50,000.
Subsequently, he turned his attention to another black and apparently Jewish group: the Lemba tribe of southern Africa.

Jews

JewishJewJewish people
Since the late twentieth century, there has been increased media and scholarly attention to the Lemba's claim of common descent to the Jewish people. Their myths of origin generally tell of migrating from the North (which is common to many African ethnicities.) According to Lemba tradition, their male ancestors were Jews who left Judea about 2500 years ago and settled in a place called Senna which was located on the Arabian Peninsula (present-day Yemen).
The Bene Israel and Cochin Jews of India, Beta Israel of Ethiopia, and a portion of the Lemba people of Southern Africa, meanwhile, despite more closely resembling the local populations of their native countries, also have some more remote ancient Jewish descent.

Great Zimbabwe

Great Zimbabwe National MonumentZimbabweZimbabwe Ruins
They claim to have constructed Great Zimbabwe, now preserved as a monument.
The construction of Great Zimbabwe is also claimed by the Lemba.

Sena, Yemen

SenaSenna
Their myths of origin generally tell of migrating from the North (which is common to many African ethnicities.) According to Lemba tradition, their male ancestors were Jews who left Judea about 2500 years ago and settled in a place called Senna which was located on the Arabian Peninsula (present-day Yemen). According to Parfitt, who published a book in 1993 on his findings, Senna was most likely located in Yemen, specifically, in the village of Sanāw within the easternmost portion of the Hadhramaut.
The town of Sena is frequently mentioned in the history of the Lemba tribe; more recently genetic studies have found signs that they may be descendants of the Israelites.

Ark of the Covenant

arkArk of GodThe Ark of the Covenant
Their oral history claims that the ngoma was the Biblical Ark of the Covenant made by Moses.
The Lemba people of South Africa and Zimbabwe have claimed that their ancestors carried the Ark south, calling it the ngoma lungundu or "voice of God", eventually hiding it in a deep cave in the Dumghe mountains, their spiritual home.

Venda language

VendaTshivendaTshivenḓa
It is mainly spoken by the Venda people in the northern part of South Africa's Limpopo Province, as well as by some Lemba people in Zimbabwe.

Y-chromosomal Aaron

Cohen Modal HaplotypeCohanim markerCMH
A subsequent study in 2000 found that a substantial number of Lemba men carry a particular haplotype of the Y-chromosome known as the Cohen modal haplotype (CMH), as well as a haplogroup of Y-DNA Haplogroup J found among some Jews, but also in other populations across the Middle East and Arabia.
Early research suggested that the 6/6 matches found among male Lemba of Southern Africa confirmed their oral history of descent from Jews and connection to Jewish culture.(Thomas MG et al. 2000); Later research has been unable to confirm this although it has shown that some male Lemba have Middle Eastern ancestry.

Shona people

ShonaMashonaKaranga
But, most academics of this field agree that the construction of the enclosure at Great Zimbabwe is largely attributable to the ancestors of the Shona, who were first to displace the indigenous San people from the region.

Haplogroup T-M184

THaplogroup TT-M184
More recently, Mendez et al. (2011) observed that a moderately high frequency of the studied Lemba samples carried Y-DNA Haplogroup T, which is also considered to be of Near Eastern origin.

Hadhramaut

HadramautHadramawtHadhramawt
According to Parfitt, who published a book in 1993 on his findings, Senna was most likely located in Yemen, specifically, in the village of Sanāw within the easternmost portion of the Hadhramaut.
Genetic evidence has linked the Lemba people, an African Jewish community of Zimbabwe and South Africa, to the people of the Hadramaut region.

Who is a Jew?

who is a Jewhalf-JewishJew
Halakhic Jewish status in Orthodox Judaism is determined by documenting an unbroken matrilineal line of descent or by conversion to Judaism.
The Lemba, group of people from southern Africa, primarily Zimbabwe and South Africa, speak the Bantu languages spoken by their geographic neighbours and resemble them physically, but they have some religious practices and beliefs similar to those in Judaism and Islam, which they claim were transmitted by oral tradition.

Ten Lost Tribes

Lost Tribes of IsraelTen TribesLost Tribes
Several rabbis and Jewish associations support their recognition as part of the "Lost Tribes of Israel".
The Lemba people (Vhalemba) from Southern Africa claim to be the descendants of several Jewish men who traveled from what is now Yemen to Africa in search of gold, where they took wives and established new communities.

Beta Israel

Ethiopian JewsFalashaEthiopian
According to Gideon Shimoni in his book, Community and Conscience: The Jews in Apartheid South Africa (2003): "In terms of halakha the Lemba are not at all comparable with the Falasha [of Ethiopia]. As a group they have no conceivable status in Judaism."

Jews of Bilad el-Sudan

History of the Jews of Bilad el-SudanJews of the Bilad el-Sudan (West Africa)exile thousands of Jews

Bantu peoples

BantuBantusBantu people
The Lemba, wa-Remba, or Mwenye are a Bantu ethnic group native to Zimbabwe and South Africa, with smaller, little-known branches in Mozambique and Malawi.

Ethnic group

ethnicityethnicethnic groups
The Lemba, wa-Remba, or Mwenye are a Bantu ethnic group native to Zimbabwe and South Africa, with smaller, little-known branches in Mozambique and Malawi.

Zimbabwe

🇿🇼 ZimbabweanRepublic of Zimbabwe
The Lemba, wa-Remba, or Mwenye are a Bantu ethnic group native to Zimbabwe and South Africa, with smaller, little-known branches in Mozambique and Malawi.

South Africa

South AfricanRepublic of South AfricaRSA
The Lemba, wa-Remba, or Mwenye are a Bantu ethnic group native to Zimbabwe and South Africa, with smaller, little-known branches in Mozambique and Malawi.

Mozambique

MozambicanMoçambiqueRepublic of Mozambique
The Lemba, wa-Remba, or Mwenye are a Bantu ethnic group native to Zimbabwe and South Africa, with smaller, little-known branches in Mozambique and Malawi.

Malawi

Republic of MalawiMalawianMalaŵi
The Lemba, wa-Remba, or Mwenye are a Bantu ethnic group native to Zimbabwe and South Africa, with smaller, little-known branches in Mozambique and Malawi.

University of London

London UniversityLondonThe University of London
According to Tudor Parfitt, Professor of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, in 2002 they numbered an estimated 50,000.

Bantu languages

BantuBantu languageBantu-speaking
They speak the Bantu languages spoken by their geographic neighbours and resemble them physically, but they have some religious practices and beliefs similar to those in Judaism and Islam, which they say were transmitted by oral tradition.

Judaism

JewishJewsJudaic
They speak the Bantu languages spoken by their geographic neighbours and resemble them physically, but they have some religious practices and beliefs similar to those in Judaism and Islam, which they say were transmitted by oral tradition.

Islam

IslamicMuslimMuslims
They speak the Bantu languages spoken by their geographic neighbours and resemble them physically, but they have some religious practices and beliefs similar to those in Judaism and Islam, which they say were transmitted by oral tradition.

Swahili language

SwahiliKiswahiliKiswahili language
The name "Lemba" may originate in chilemba, a Swahili word for turbans worn by some Bantu peoples, or lembi, a Bantu word meaning "non-African" or "respected foreigner".