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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Pre-1904 Population Estimates of the Tswana
Author:Morton, Barry
Periodical:Botswana Notes and Records (ISSN 0525-5090)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Botswana
Southern Africa
demographic history
ethnic groups
Miscellaneous (i.e. Demography, Refugees, Sports)
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
History and Exploration
History, Archaeology
Tswana (African people)
External links:https://www.jstor.org/stable/40979984
Abstract:This paper brings together the relatively scarce evidence on the precolonial population of Botswana. It presents population estimates for Ngwato (from pre-1822 to 1906), Kwena (from 1806 to 1890), Ngwaketse (from 1806 to 1888), Kgatla (from 1862 to 1897), Hurutshe (from 1813 to 1884), Tawana (from 1853 to 1906) and miscelleaneous other estimates. These estimates have been culled mostly from nineteenth-century travellers' and missionary accounts. What can be gathered from the estimates is that the various 'merafe' (communities) were fairly large prior to the 'mfecane' (the process of political change and accompanying wars and migrations beginning in the late 18th century in southern, central and eastern Africa). With the 'mfecane', numerous Tswana were killed by raiders who had penetrated their territory, and others emigrated to the Cape colony. During the 1840s the remnant populations were able to regroup. Largely through involvement in the ivory trade, the 'merafe' gained wealth. Between 1850 and 1880 the various 'merafe' grew rapidly, and outstripped their pre-'mfecane' populations. Ref.