Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Basutos, an eastern branch of the Bechuana race, from whom they were separated by the Boers moving from Cape Colony across the Orange river, about 1835. The Basutos have all been converted to Christianity by French Protestant missionaries, and at present form a flourishing civilised nation in Basutoland, which since 1884 has been a British Crown colony. Most of the arable land has been brought under cultivation, good roads opened in all directions, agricultural machinery introduced from England, schools founded in all the communes, and large sums voluntarily raised for educational purposes. The land already yields sufficient for an annual export trade to Cape Colony, valued at over £200,000. In the Bechuana branch of the Bantu language the prefix ba answers to the Zulu-Kafir ama, as in Ama-Zulu, Ama-Xosa, etc.; hence Ba-Suto = the Suto (paunched) people; while the land is Le-Suto; the language, Se-Suto; and the paramount chief, Mo-Suto. The language - which is rich, sonorous, and poetic - has been reduced to writing by the missionaries, and the natives themselves now freely use it in correspondence and a few local periodicals. Chief missionary stations: Maseru (the capital), Leribe, Cornet, Spruit, Berea, Mafeking, and Quthing;. schools, 113; attendance, 6.500; area of territory, 9,700 sq. miles; population (1890), over 200,000.