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CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: A Niger-Congo language family, with approximately 60,000,000 speakers of more than 200 distinct languages, who occupy almost the entire southern projection of the African continent (roughly from the bulge downward). The classification is linguistic as the cultures of the Bantu speakers are extremely diverse. The languages are closely interrelated, indicating expansion of the population from a single source, probably the eastern Nigeria/Cameroon area. Throughout the region these first farming settlements are marked by a common pottery tradition, the 'Early Iron age' complex.

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