BECHUANALAND, a country named after its inhabitants, the Bechuana. The name is applied to a region, which includes the Bechuanaland Protectorate and British Bechuanaland. The latter area, lying between the Orange and Molopo rivers, was included in Cape Colony in 1895 (q.v.). The protectorate, estimated at 000sq.m., is bounded on the west by south-west Africa, on the north by Portuguese West Africa and the Zambesi river, on the north-east by southern Rhodesia, on the south-east by the Trans vaal, on the south by the Molopo and Nossob rivers. The country has not been completely surveyed, but its mean elevation is esti mated at about 3,30o feet. The greater part is gently undulating, but in the east, near the Transvaal border, are several groups of bold hills. Most of the Bechuanaland hills are of the inselberg type. The lowest areas, probably not much above 2,000f t., occur in the north-east and south-west. Here and there are "pans," or hol lows, which are apparently due to the action of wind and of the trampling and wallowing of game. Their floors are covered with tufaceous limestone, or sandy mud, unless the rock is exposed.
In the eastern part of the country ancient granites, gneisses and schists outcrop, and representatives of the Nama, Waterberg and Karroo systems must extend for some distance into the protecto rate from the Transvaal and southern Rhodesia. Some of these have been proved about Palachwe. The greater part of the region, however, is covered by the Kalahari sands, which are generally stained red, but which may be white where the colouring material has been reduced along the watercourses. Alluvium and saliferous marls occur in the Okavango basin. There is very little surface water, except in the rainy season, and very little run-off, since rain sinks easily into the sands. In the dry season the only rivers which maintain their flow are the Zambesi, Chobe, Marico, Limpopo and the effluents from the Okavango marshes. Water can be obtained not far below the surface in the beds of the larger rivers. Bore holes, made by the Administration in the west of Bechuanaland, with a view to developing the ranching industry, have not proved very successful, and the water, when obtained, was sometimes very brackish. In the northern part of the country are large marshy depressions, such as that about the shallow Lake Ngami (q.v.) in the north-west. This is connected by the Botletle river with another wide depression, in which is the Makarikari salt pan.
Very little accurate information as to the climate is available. The summers are intensely hot. In the dry season the nights may be cool, while the days are still hot, though sudden falls of temper ature are liable to occur. The rainfall is probably about 15 or 2oin., with rather more in the north-east, and less in the south west. Most of the rain falls between December and the end of April in heavy, but short, showers. The incidence and the quantity of the rainfall are very variable. Dust storms are frequent. Malaria is prevalent, especially in the low lying and damper parts.
True forest is rare, but a large proportion of the country is cov ered with thorn savannah, species of acacia predominating. In parts a dense thorny undergrowth, between the trees, makes traf fic almost impossible. Indigo and cotton plants grow wild, and a species of wild water melon, tsoma, is very abundant. Though there is little surface water, plant roots can generally reach down to the layer of wet sand. Even the Kalahari "Desert" in the west is largely covered with bush; its dead, overgrown sand dunes point to more arid conditions in the past. On the other hand, in parts of the country there are remains of ancient trees, which, together with the size of the stream beds, appear to indicate a period of greater rainfall. It has been suggested that the destruction of the trees was due to caterpillars. A considerable amount of destruc tion in recent times has been done by domesticated animals, and by the native practice of burning the grass toward the end of the dry season. For some distance to the north of Mafeking the coun try has been denuded of trees to supply Kimberley with fuel.
Toward the north the number of tropical species in the bush gradually increases, and the Adansonia digitata (baobab), Hy phaene crinita, Balsamodendron africanum, Aloe rubrolutea, etc., become common. On rocky sites succulents, such as Aloe dicho tome, and Euphorbia Dinteri, abound. The typical grasses of Bechuanaland are species of Aristida, Eragrostis, Fingerhuthia, Panicum, etc. There is much good grazing in the country.
The protectorate is fairly rich in wild animals, which include many species of antelope, as well as elephants, hippopotami, rhinoceroses, giraffes, buffaloes, lions, leopards, hyaenas and jack als. Among the birds are the ostrich and bustard. Poisonous snakes such as puff adders and cobras, are numerous; so are scor pions, tarantulas, spiders, flying beetles, locusts, "white ants" (termites) and mosquitoes. Crocodiles occur in some of the rivers. The principal fish are the catfish and yellow fish. In the temporary streams, fish burrow into the mud before it hardens for the dry season. During the years 1922 to 1925 a campaign was carried out against the locusts, and 37,000 swarms were destroyed.
Two small towns are situated on the railway—Gaberones and Francistown, the latter being the centre of the gold mining area of the Tati district, and the most important white settlement in the protectorate. Some of the native villages are of considerable size. Among them are the following :—Serui (Serowe), chief place of the Bamangwato, pop., 25,000. Probably the largest native village in South Africa. It was founded by Khama in 1903 about 2 50m. N.N.E. of Mafeking and 35m. from Palapye Road, in country which is better watered than that about the former capital, Pal achwe. Kanya (Kanye), chief place of Bangwaketse, pop., 12,000. 8om. from Mafeking and 3o from the nearest railway station, Lobatsi. Molepololi, chief place of Bakwena, pop., 9,000. Mo chudi, chief place of Bakgatla, pop., 8,000. Maun, chief place of Batawana, pop., S,000. Lehututu is the chief centre of western Bechuanaland. Well defined roads run from Molepololi and Kanya to Lehututu, some 3oom. to the west. Water pits have been dug at intervals along the roads.
Occupations.—In spite of fairly fertile soil, agriculture gives uncertain and often scant returns, owing to the uncertainty and meagreness of the rains. No irrigation is practised. The British South Africa company has an experimental farm, 7m. from Lo batsi railway station. The chief native crops are millet and maize. Bechuanaland is essentially a pastoral area. The veld is of the "sweet" and "sour" varieties, the former making excellent pasture. Though rinderpest in 1896 swept off over 90% of the cattle, their numbers quickly recovered. The following table gives the number of live stock in the country in The small number of horses and mules in the territory is due to the prevalence of horse sickness. Great care is taken to prevent the introduction of contagious cattle diseases, especially east coast fever, which has hitherto been prevented from entering the coun try. No cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, horses, mules or donkeys, no skins or horns, no vehicles, except railway stock and motor cars, nor any wagon gear or harness may be imported without written permission. No cattle may be moved from one district of the protectorate to another without permission in writing. Cattle can not be moved out of the Bamangwato reserve, where pleuro pneumonia exists.
A good deal of trapping of wild animals is done ; the skins are sold to railway passengers at the various halts along the line, and to white traders. The old hunting rights over tribal territory are reserved to the various chiefs, on the condition that they observe a close season. A small amount of gold mining is carried on in the Tati district. The output for the financial year 1921-22 was ozs. of gold and 706 ozs. of silver. Copper has also been re ported in this area, and coal has been proved near Palachwe.
Communications.—The eastern part of the country is trav ersed by a 4o3m. long section of the Cape Town to Rhodesia railway, which enters the protectorate at Ramathlabana, and runs through Palapye Road and the Tati district, and then on to Bula wayo. The extension of the railway toward the north was has tened by the Matabele and Mashona rebellion of 1896, and by the dislocation of the old ox wagon transport in the same year by rinderpest. Roads, feasible for motor transport, connect the principal native villages with the railway, but, beyond 5om. to the west of the railway only ox transport can be used. Wagon tracks leave Palapye Road for Ngami, 3 2om. to the north-west. The old trade route to Bulawayo, which skirted the edge of the Kala hari, is rarely used. Telegraph and telephone lines, linking south ern Rhodesia with the Union of South Africa, follow the railway, and are owned and worked by the Rhodesian Government. A branch wire runs from Palapye Road to Serui (3 5 miles) . There are 21 post offices and seven telegraph offices in the territory, the principal one being at Serui.
Trade.—No statistics of exports and imports are now kept. For customs purposes the area is treated as part of the Union of South Africa, which pays a sum of money quarterly to the pro tectorate. The latter collects its own customs duties on intoxi cating liquors made in, and imported from, South Africa. No in toxicating drink may be imported without written permission, and the sale or gift of beer, spirits or wine to any native is strictly f or bidden. A written permission is also required for the importation of arms and ammunition.
The chief imports consist of articles of clothing, blankets, ploughs, iron and tin ware and groceries. The principal exports include hides, skins and wool, cattle for both slaughter and breed ing purposes in South Africa, timber for fuel and pit props, and, in years of good harvests, a certain amount of grain. The yearly export of cattle involves about 20,000 or 30,00o head. Goats and sheep are also exported. All export of live stock has to take place through one of the six points of exit—Ramathlabana, Ramaqua bane, Sequane, Kwaganae, Kavimba, Kazungula. A payment of 2s.6d. a head is charged on all cattle sent out of the country. Cat tle dealers entering the protectorate to buy cattle need a licence.
Government.—The form of government is very similar to that of Basutoland, and efforts are made to maintain the tribal system. The country is administered by a commissioner, nominated by the Crown, and responsible to the high commissioner for South Africa. The protectorate is divided into a northern and southern district, each having its assistant commissioner, at Francistown and Gaberones respectively. Each of these districts is again sub divided into two parts, each in charge of a magistrate, supported by a body of police. The headquarters of the administration and the seat of the commissioner are beyond the borders of the pro tectorate at Mafeking.
In 192o councils of Europeans and natives were established to advise the commissioner on matters affecting Europeans and na tives respectively. The commissioner, however, exercises all the powers of a supreme court. In 1912 the "Special Court of the Bechuanaland Protectorate," consisting of a judge or advocate of the Supreme Court of South Africa, appointed by the high com missioner as president, and of two assistant commissioners, nomi nated by the commissioner, was established to try cases of (a) civil actions, in which either party is a European, and in which claims or property exceeding the value of £i,000 are in dispute; (b) criminal cases, in which the accused is a European charged with treason, murder, culpable homicide, rape, perjury, arson, of fences against the coinage, etc. The native chiefs adjudicate on all matters arising among their own tribesmen, though the latter now have the right of appeal to the court of a magistrate, or assistant commissioner.
A hut tax of Li for every hut, used as a dwelling place, is levied annually, and an additional tax of 3s. a hut is charged, and credited to a native fund for the purposes of education, and of general im provement in the reserves. In the tribal areas the tax is collected by the chiefs, who receive a commission not exceeding io%. Else where it is collected by officers appointed by the commissioner. Until the financial year 1914-15 any excess of expenditure over revenue was met by an imperial grant-in-aid. Since that date the revenue has usually exceeded expenditure, the chief item of which is the cost of the police force. There is no public debt. "The Bechuanaland Protectorate Police Force" consists of 9 European officers, 18 European non-commissioned officers and men, Bantu non-commissioned officers and men, mostly from Basuto land, and 146 Bechuana, employed as dismounted constables.
Labour.—Within the protectorate there is only a limited de mand by Europeans for native labour, and it is mainly in the com paratively small areas open to the white settler in the Tati and Ghanzi districts, and in the Tuli, Gaberones and Lobatsi blocks of farms. A considerable number of men leave for labour in the mines and elsewhere in the Union of South Africa. Native labour is recruited by labour agents, who must hold a licence, deposit or find security for £ i oo, and fix a domicile in the territory, where any civil process may be served in respect of breach of contract.
Education, Religion, etc.—There are ten schools for white children, one for coloured, and 65 native schools. The latter are situated in the native villages, and in the reserves. About 5,600 native children attend these schools, and the number would prob ably be greater but for the custom of sending the boys away to distant cattle posts. The native schools are supported by the na tive fund, which also makes a contribution to Tiger Kloof, an in stitution in British Bechuanaland for the training of teachers. At the 1921 census 16,344 males and 20,175 females were returned as literate. Several Christian denominations are represented in the country. In the principal native villages there are well-built churches, which were paid for by the natives. For Europeans there are churches at Serui and Francistown.
No one may practise as a physician, surgeon or chemist without a licence. There is a small hospital at Gaberones, but all the more serious cases are taken to the Victoria hospital at Mafeking. To ward the cost of its erection the protectorate made a contribution. The principal medical officer resides at Mafeking, and there are medical officers at Gaberones, Serui and Francistown. Railway medical officers travel up and down the railway line.
See annual reports on the protectorate, published by the Colonial Office, London. Consult also the Official Year Books of the Union of South Africa.
Bechuanaland was visited by Europeans from Cape Colony in the last quarter of the i8th century. Travellers and explorers, such as M. H. K. Lichtenstein and W. J. Burchell, both dis tinguished naturalists, and the Rev. John Campbell, one of the founders of the Bible Society, had made known the main features of the southern part of the country by 1821. About 1817 Mosili katze, the founder of the Matabele nation, fleeing from the wrath of Chaka, the Zulu king, began a career of conquest during which he ravaged a great part of Bechuanaland before he finally settled in the north, in what is now Matabeleland. Meanwhile the Lon don Missionary Society had founded in 1818 a station at Kuru man and thither came in 1821 the noted Scottish missionary, Robert Moffat (q.v.). For 5o years Moffat made Kuruman his headquarters and largely through his efforts—he was preacher, teacher, carpenter, blacksmith and many other things—the Bechu ana, a teachable people, made remarkable progress, many becom ing Christians. Among other things Moffat reduced the Bechuana language to writing. He was joined in 1841 by David Livingstone (q.v.), who later on began the systematic exploration of the northern regions. The connection between Cape Colony and Bechuanaland became close and the Cape law courts from 1836 onward claimed jurisdiction in southern Bechuanaland. The Bechuana chiefs were, however, regarded as independent. When, by the Sand River Convention of 1852, the British Government acknowledged the independence of the Transvaal Boers, no frontier was indicated save the Vaal river and the Boers soon began to encroach upon the lands of the Bechuana.
The rest of the country became the Bechuanaland Protectorate and was administered as a crown colony. A proposal in 1895 that the protectorate should come under the rule of the British South Africa Company was frustrated by the opposition of Khama and other chiefs and by the occurrence of the Jameson Raid, the raiders having started from Bechuana territory. Reserves were set aside for the various tribes, who, under the control of a resi dent commissioner, possess autonomy. A railway linking the Cape railways to Rhodesia was built near the eastern border of the protectorate, and along this railway white settlements grew up. When the Union of South Africa was formed, in 1910, the pro tectorate remained under direct imperial rule. The majority of the white settlers, however, gradually came to wish to join the Union and in Dec. 1924 Gen. Hertzog (then prime minister of the Union) stated that in his opinion the time had come for considering the incorporation of the protectorate in the Union. In 1927 efforts by the white settlers in this direction met with discouragement from the imperial authorities.
A notable event was the death of Khama in Feb. 1923, aged about 93. Converted to Christianity in 186o, a great advocate of temperance and of education, he had been paramount chief of the Bamangwato since 1875. The chief Montsioa had died in 1911 ; Linchwe, chief of the Bakgatla, a wise and good ruler, the last survivor of the chiefs who ruled before the country came under British protection, died in Oct. 1924.
BIBLIOGRAPHY.--The early chapters of David Livingstone's MisBibliography.--The early chapters of David Livingstone's Mis- sionary Travels in South Africa (18S7) are invaluable. Other first hand authorities are: J. Campbell, Travels in South Africa (1815) ; Travels . . . a Second Journey . . . ; Robert Moffat, Mis sionary Labours and Scenes in Southern Africa (1842) ; A. A. Ander son, Twenty-five Years in a Waggon in the Gold Regions of Africa, vol. i. (1887) . See also, John Mackenzie, Austral Africa, Losing it or Ruling it (1887) ; J. D. Hepburn, Twenty Years in Khama's Country (1895) ; W. D. Mackenzie, John Mackenzie (1902) ; histories dealing with South Africa as a whole, and the Annual Report, Bechuanaland Protectorate, issued by the Colonial Office, London. (See also Source