By Leonard Thompson, Lynn Berat
A number one student of South Africa presents a clean and penetrating exploration of that country's heritage, from the earliest identified human inhabitation of the sector to the current, focusing totally on the studies of its black population. For this 3rd version, Leonard Thompson provides new chapters that describe the move of strength and the recent South Africa lower than the presidencies of Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki.
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He also needed the respect of his people. If a chief required public support for some enterprise or had important information to communicate, he would convene a meeting of his male subjects. This custom was particularly firmly entrenched among the Basotho and Batswana. At a pitso, the men had considerable freedom of speech-they could, and often did, make pointed criticisms of the chief or a councillor. In the last resort, alienated subjects would vote with their feet-leaving their chiefdom and joining another, where they were nearly always welcome, because people were the most important gauge of the power and prestige of a chiefdom; or an aggrieved kinsman might build up a following and split the polity.
Scholars have demonstrated that that assumption is false. Kung, as well as similar studies of modern Australian hunter-gatherers, demonstrate that their way of life involves much less work per capita than our modern "civilized" existence. l" Hunter-gatherers had time and energy for subtle and complex aesthetic expression in rock art and in music. "15He argues that inherent in their way oflifeisa philosophy. Their mobility-arising from their need to leave a campsite when they had depleted the plants and game in its area-made them adopt a philosophy of limited wants.
Others emphasize internal dynamics, as farming communities became increasingly specialized in their various micro-environments. s" Another unresolved question is whether the first mixed farmers to infiltrate into Southern Africa used iron or whether iron-working reached Africa south of the Limpopo later by diffusion from the north. In central Africa, agriculture and pastoralism seem to have preceded metallurgy. e? 3 1 Private property, previously associated with such small, portable possessions as clothing (made from skins) and weapons (bows and arrows), now included sheep and cattle.
A History of South Africa by Leonard Thompson, Lynn Berat