Definition of Nyabingi in English:



  • 1A religious cult among the Kiga people of Rwanda and Uganda, based on belief in a spirit or spirits called Nyabingi, capable of entering a human being and mediated by the priests and priestesses of the cult; a political organization inspired by this cult.

  • 2A Rastafarian sect inspired by the East African Nyabingi cult and advocating resistance to white domination; a member or supporter of this sect.

  • 3An act of ritual worship originating in the Nyabingi cult and involving rhythmic percussion and chanting, especially as later developed within Rastafarianism; this ritual music.


  • 1Of, relating to, or designating the Nyabingi religious cult and political movement in East Africa. Especially in "Nyabingi cult".

  • 2Of, relating to, or designating the Rastafarian Nyabingi sect.

  • 3Of, relating to, or designating the ritual of Nyabingi or the music associated with it.


1920s; earliest use found in The Times. From Kiga Nyabingi, lit. ‘she who brings bounty’, (name of a) spirit or category of spirits that can enter human beings.