The New York Times, April 19, 1885, p.4:|
AT KING MANKOROANE'S HUTFrom the London Times.
A correspondent writes from Bechuanaland in February:
Yesterday afternoon, so soon as our midday meal was over, I started off with a friend to explore the kraal. It was a two-mile walk, and all the heat of the sun centred on the earth at this hour.
Arriving at the outskirts we determined to first go and pay Mankoroane, the Chief, or King of the tribe, a visit, whose place we found without difficulty--a common large hut, made of mud plastered together with brushwood and reeds, and coarsely thatched on the roof.
The eaves projected over the walls about 3 feet, so that a veranda was formed around the hut. The entrance was through a yard which surrounded the hut, with a wall of brushwood 7 feet high. There was only one doorway, into which we entered on a smooth yard of red clay.
Here, with their backs to the wall, sat some men, probably the King's body guard. They were all more or less dressed, having trousers, patched with every conceivable color and material, some with hats, others with old Government helmets.
We walked into the hut, which was divided in two by a low wall. The inside was lined with gray clay and quaint figures and devices were made on it.
Opposite the door and close to the inside wall lay a man on a couch with a folded up shawl under his head. He had on a red flannel shirt, blue coat, very old cord trousers, and boots with cloth tops, but no socks.
He was the King. At his head sat another person, the Queen, sitting like a tailor, naked to her waist. She had a quantity of beads around her neck of different colors, from which hung charms and such useful articles as keys.
The King was sound asleep, but the Queen and attendants were wide awake. The smell and bad air were intolerable. Round against the wall sat his two Princesses, or daughters. Then two men smoking. Not one of them took the slightest notice of us.
At last I addressed the Queen, and wished her all the compliments of the season. All then began to talk except the King, who was still asleep.
To keep them company, I took up the chorus of an old song. They seemed delighted at this, so I gave it them again, laughing violently all the time, my friend imploring me to keep quiet lest I should wake the King and incur his wrath; but he did not awake.
We then offered the Queen cigarettes, and the Princesses, and the two men. The nearest Princess chewed her cigarette. After sitting most of an hour we got up to go, and I nearly fell over a black baby lying on the floor, which yelled and woke the King.
Up he jumped and greeted us most warmly. shaking hands and asking for "bacco" and also "shillin." I gave him a cigarette, which he forthwith lit up, imploring me to give him a shilling.
I took out my purse and turned it upside down and out dropped a piece of money, for which both the Princesses, the Queen, and all the courtiers scrambled. One of the Princesses secured it and held it up laughing.
We then left, saying "goodbye," to which they responded civilly.
The New York Times, December 3, 1893, p.22:|
A Model Savage.
King Khama is a model savage, if a black man who has been thoroughly civilized by European and missionary influences can still be called one. He is an aristocrat of the best possible type, whose influence in his country is entirely thrown into the scale of virtue for the supression of vice.
Such a thing as theft is unknown in his realm; he will not allow his subjects to make or drink beer. "Beer is the source of all quarrels," he says; "I will stop it."
He has put a stop also to the existence of witch doctors and their wiles throughout all the Bamangwato.
He conducts in person services every Sunday in his large, round kotla, or place of assembly, standing beneath the tree of justice and the wide canopy of heaven in a truly patriarchal style.
He is keen in the supression of all superstitions, and eats publicly the flesh of the duyker, a sort of roebuck, which was formerly the totem of the tribe, and held as sacred among them twenty years ago.
The late King Sikkome, Khama's father, would not so much as step on a duyker skin, and it is still looked upon with more veneration by his subjects than Khama would wish.
As an instance of Khama's power and judgement, it is sufficient for us to quote the sudden change of his capital from Shoshong to the present site, Palapwe [Palapye]. Shoshong was in a strong position, where the Bamangwato could effectively protect themselves from the Matabele raids under Lobengula, but it was badly supplied with water, and in dry seasons the inhabitants suffered greatly from drought.
The change of capital had been a subject discussed for years, but Khama waited quietly until people began to think that he was against it and would never move. He waited, in fact, until he was sure of British protection, until he was sure that Lobengula could not attack his people without embroiling himself in a war with England.
Then suddenly, one day, now five years ago, without any prefatory warning, King Khama gave orders for the move, and the exodus began on the next day, and in two months' time 15,000 individuals were located in their new capital, sixty miles away from Shoshong. Under Khama's direction, everything was conducted in the best possible order; to every man was given his allotted ground and told to build his huts thereon. Not a single dispute arose, and no one would imagine to-day that only a few years ago Palapwe was uninhabited.
Khama, in manner and appearance, is thoroughly a gentleman, dignified and courteous; he wears well-made European clothes, a billy-cock hat and gloves, in his hand he brandishes a dainty cane, and he pervades everything in his country, riding about from point to point wherever his presence is required; and if he is just a little too much of a dandy, it is an error in his peculiar case in the right direction.
The Contemporary Review.
The Los Angeles Times, May 6, 1896, p.3:|
"RHODESIA."Country Ruled by the British South Africa Company.
(May Century:) West and north of the Transvaal lie those immense British territories which have been assigned to the British South Africa Company as its sphere of operations.
Bechuanaland--so called from the principal native race which occupies it--is a high and generally level country, mostly wooded; though the trees are but small, and with grass which is richer and more abundant than that of the Transvaal. It is looked upon as likely to prove one of the best ranching tracts in the continent.
Matabeleland and Mashonaland, farther to the north, are equally high, but more undulating than Bechuanaland, with great swelling downs somewhat resembling the praries of Western Kansas.
They are bright, breezy countries, very hot in the daytime, but with nights cool even in midsummer, and a climate which, except in the lower grounds along the marshy banks of the streams, is not merely healthy, but invigorating.
Plenty of rain falls in December, January and February, and it is only in October, at the end of the dry season, that the grass begins to fall on the pastures.
The subjacent rock is, as in Bechuanaland, usually granite; but here and there beds of slate and schist are found, and in these beds there are quartz reefs, believed to be rich in gold, and from which a great deal of gold must, in days gone by, have been extracted, so numerous are the traces of ancient workings.
The extreme easterly part of Mashonaland, where it borders on the dominions of Portugal, is called Manicaland. This is a country of bold mountains of granite, mixed with porphyry and slate--a country the loftiest peaks of which rise to a height of 8000 feet above the sea, and where a comparatively abundant rainfall makes the streams more numerous, and fuller even in the dry season than those of any other part of the great plateau.
Here and there a piece of high tableland, some 7000 feet above sea-level, offers an atmosphere of rare salubrity, while a few miles farther to the eastward, in the low grounds which slope gently to the coast, malignant fevers warn Europeans against any attempt to settle, and make even a journey from the sea to the highlands dangerous during some months of the year.
See also: Zambia News - Zimbabwe - Namibia - South Africa|
All of Botswana is
one time zone at GMT+2,
with no Daylight Savings time.
Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name upon independence in 1966.
Four decades of uninterrupted civilian leadership, progressive social policies, and significant capital investment have created one of the most dynamic economies in Africa. Mineral extraction, principally diamond mining, dominates economic activity, though tourism is a growing sector due to the country's conservation practices and extensive nature preserves.
Botswana has one of the world's highest known rates of HIV/AIDS infection, but also one of Africa's most progressive and comprehensive programs for dealing with the disease.
CIA World Factbook: Botswana
Area of Botswana:
600,370 sq km
slightly smaller than Texas
Population of Botswana:
July 2007 estimate
Languages of Botswana:
Setswana 78.2%, Kalanga 7.9%,
Sekgalagadi 2.8%, English 2.1% official
other 8.6%, unspecified 0.4% (2001 census)
Botswana Reference Articles and Links
Wikipedia: Botswana - History of Botswana
BBC Country Profile: Botswana
UK Foreign Office: Botswana Profile
US State Department: Botswana Profile
Maps of Botswana
Historic Maps of Africa
1885 Map of Africa
US Embassy, Gaborone, Botswana
Governments on the WWW links
US State Dept Botswana Travel
Botswana News Websites
The Voice Online
African Press Agency: Botswana
Botswana Government: Daily News
ABYZ: Botswana News Links
Botswana Internet Directories
Yahoo!: Botswana directory
Google Botswana directory