A South African Kingdom
The Basotho kingdom emerged and consolidated in the dramatic and dangerous environment of nineteenth-century South Africa. Elizabeth Eldredge provides a rich description of local agriculture, iron-working and craft industries, bringing out the resourceful responses of the Basotho to the challenges of drought and famine, and explaining the dynamics of the competition for land. During the colonial period, regional economic integration increasingly influenced local production, land use and internal politics, and drew the Basotho into the regional migrant labour system. Throughout these turbulent years, the overriding interest of the Basotho was the pursuit of security. Dr Eldredge analyzes the epic struggle which bound together rich and poor, chiefs and commoners, and men and women in a largely successful effort to sustain this fragile and innovative society in the face of political threats and environmental challenges.