Type of Item
History of the Basuto, Ancient and Modern
David Frédéric Ellenberger (1835–1919) was a Swiss French Protestant missionary who left for Basutoland (present-day Lesotho) in 1860 as a member of the Paris Evangelical Missionary Society. Ellenberger spent more than 45 years collecting the oral traditions of the Basotho (also known as Sotho) people. His method was to gather “all the information which it was still possible to obtain from intelligent old men concerning the tribes, their origin, their manners, their form of government, their beliefs, the genealogy of the chiefs, etc.” His objective was to preserve, for ...
This late-19th century British map shows Basutoland, as the present-day Kingdom of Lesotho then was known. A local chief, Moeshoeshoe (circa 1786-1870), laid the basis for modern Lesotho in the 1820s and 1830s by uniting the clans of the small, mountainous country to resist external invaders. Sometime in the 1830s, he became King Moshoeshoe I. After repeated clashes with the South African Boers over land, Mosheoshoe appealed to the British for assistance. In 1868, his kingdom was placed under British protection. In 1871, the protectorate was annexed to the Cape ...