Sotho people

The Basotho (singular Mosotho ) are a mountain people in southern Africa, which was created in the first half of the 19th century.

Around two million Basotho form almost exclusively the people in Lesotho. In the west bordering South Africa Free State and Gauteng province also live several million Basotho. The Basotho speak Sesotho, the official language in both States.


Early 19th century, numerous ethnic groups fled from the Zulu and their policy of Mfecane. The Bakoena - Chief Moshoeshoe I. succeeded his people to lead safe so that multiple strains were recorded by Moshoeshoe, including the Bataung and Batlokoa, so that the population grew from 25,000 to 80,000, and designated as Basotho was. Moshoeshoe reigned until his death in 1868 by the Thaba Bosiu, which is still known as the National Shrine of Lesotho.

Later the Baphuthi in the south of present-day Lesotho were included, but they remained a separate ethnic group with the language Phuthi.

Since independence in 1966, the Basotho of Lesotho being ruled by a king, but only representative functions.


The Basotho developed their own customs and traditions, many of which have survived to this day. This includes the traditional system of rule. Decisions at the village level are as like in the 19th century by a Pitso, a general assembly. Kinship ties are very important and often cause income to be distributed among the needy relatives. In addition to a west facing education and health care, there are lessons to remote places in traditional disciplines as well as healers with alternative methods. Most Basotho are the result of the missionary activities since 1833 Christians. In addition to extensive collections of hymns, there is a rich traditional music culture. To date, many Basotho blankets ( kobo ) and straw hats wear ( Mokorotlo ). Equally, however, also Western values ​​find, especially in the urban centers and the university.


The Basotho Cultural Village, a village in QwaQwa National Park in South Africa, demonstrates the history, culture and lifestyle of the Basotho.

  • Ethnicity in Africa
  • Ethnic group in Lesotho

Pictures of Sotho people