Sotho–Tswana peoples

Sotho–Tswana Peoples

Sotho–Tswana peoples

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The Sotho–Tswana is the most commonly accepted name for a group of communities which speak Bantu languages living primarily in South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia.


The differentiation between the various black African groups in South Africa (Sotho–Tswana, Nguni, Vhavenda and Vatsonga) is primarily rooted in linguistics. They speak languages which fall under different sub-branches of the Bantu language group, just as Germanic languages are mutually intelligible to an extent, and totally different from Romance languages.


Sometime between 200-500 CE, Bantu speaking peoples, who originated in the Katanga area (today part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia), and had been expanding across sub-Saharan Africa, crossed the Limpopo River, entering the area today known as South Africa.

There were two broad waves of immigration to South Africa; Nguni and Sotho–Tswana. The former settled in the eastern coastal regions, while the latter settled primarily in the area known today as the Highveld – the large, relatively high central plateau of southern Africa.

By 1000 CE the Bantu colonization of most of South Africa had been completed, with the possible exception of what is now the Western Cape and the Northern Cape, which are believed to have been inhabited by Khoisan people until Dutch colonisation. The Bantu-speaking society was highly decentralized, organized on a basis of kraals (an enlarged clan), headed by a chief,...
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