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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 72

The Bechuana Tribe

The Bechuana Tribe.

The Bechuana tribe was always rich in cattle, native sheep, and goats; gardens and cornfields surround their villages; beyond these again are the cattle-posts placed at convenient points to command good pasturage and water. On the borders of the Kalihari desert are hunting stations, where their vassals, the Bakalihari and Bushmen, paid tribute in skins, feathers, and other products of the chase. Traders gradually extended northwards, until they reached the Zambesi, and the route viâ Bechuanaland became the highway to the North.

The Bechuanas are not a warlike race. They never had any military organization like the Zulus; at the most there were insignificant tribal differences, and occasionally revolutions among themselves. Though no match for the Matabele, they are useful allies, and on the occasion of the Pioneer Expedition of 1890, as recently in the campaign against the Matabele, did good service.