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Native toKenya
RegionLamu District, Tana River
Native speakers
20,000 (2019 census)[1]
Latin (limited use)
Language codes
ISO 639-3ssn

The Waata (Waat, Watha), or Sanye, are an Oromo-speaking people of Kenya and former hunter-gatherers. They share the name Sanye with the neighboring Dahalo.

The current language of the Waata may be a dialect of Orma or otherwise Southern Oromo. However, there is evidence that they may have shifted from a Southern Cushitic language, a group that includes Dahalo.[2]

See also


  1. ^ Waata at Ethnologue (26th ed., 2023) Closed access icon
  2. ^ Martin Walsh, 1992/1993. The Vuna and the Degere: Remnants and Outcasts among the Duruma and Digo of Kenya and Tanzania. Bulletin of the International Committee on Urgent Anthropological and Ethnological Research 34/35: 133–147.

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