A tale of two Tswana towns: in quest of Tswenyane and the twin capital of the Hurutshe in the Marico

Authors

  • J. C. A. Boeyens University of South Africa

Abstract

According to oral information collected by state ethnologist Paul-Lenert Breutz in the 1950s, the Hurutshe intermittently resided in a 'twin' capital, Tswenyane-Kaditshwene, in the Marico in precolonial times. While the location of the Kaditshwene Hill ruins has since been verified archaeologically, the whereabouts of the Tswenyane complex have thus far eluded researchers. A combined analysis of oral historical, toponymic, documentary, survey and mapping data reveals that two Hurutshe chiefdoms conjoined towards the end of the eighteenth century to form an expanded capital complex. Mounting regional insecurity impelled the senior Hurutshe branch, the Bahurutshe booMenwe, to relocate their capital from Mmakgame to the more defensible Kaditshwene Hill, close to the capital of the Bahurutshe booMokgatlha, which straddled the foothills of Tswenyane Mountain. The increased military stress emanated from internecine conflicts with the Rolong, Ngwaketse, western Kwena, Lete and the Bakgatla ba Mmanaana. During the chieftaincy of Senosi, the capital of the Bahurutshe booMokgatlha branch became subsumed under the Greater Kaditshwene complex as a southern district or zone. It is most likely this aggregated stonewalled settlement that spawned the tradition of the ‘dual’ capital.

Published

2016-07-19

How to Cite

Boeyens, J. C. A. (2016). A tale of two Tswana towns: in quest of Tswenyane and the twin capital of the Hurutshe in the Marico. Southern African Humanities, 28, 1-37. Retrieved from http://sahumanities.org/ojs/index.php/SAH/article/view/369

Issue

Section

Articles