Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V24, Page 1014 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SHOSHONG, a town in the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, formerly the chief settlement of the eastern Bamangwato. It is about 200 M. N.N.E. of Mafeking and 30 M. N. of Shoshong Road Station on the Cape Town-Bulawayo railway. The town is situated 3000 ft. above the sea in the valley of the Shoshong, an intermittent tributary of the Limpopo. The site was origin-ally chosen as the headquarters of the Bamangwato as being easily defensible against the Matabele. At the time of the declaration of a British protectorate in 1885 Shoshong had 20,000 to 30,000 inhabitants, including about twenty Europeans. Being the meeting place of trade routes from south and north it was of considerable importance to early explorers and traders in South-Central Africa, and a mission station of the London Missionary Society (preceded for many years by a station of the Hermannsburg Lutheran Missionary Society) was founded here in 1862. Owing, however, to the scarcity of water at Shoshong, Khama, the chief of the Bamangwato, and most of his followers removed about 1890 to Palapye—So m. N.E. of Shoshong—and later to Serowe to the north-west of Palapye. Like Shoshong, these places are built in valleys of tributaries of the Limpopo. Shoshong was not entirely deserted and has a population of about 800 (See BECHUANALAND).
End of Article: SHOSHONG

Additional information and Comments

Several years ago, I bought at auction, without knowing anything about ax imbedded in a treeroot handle. The stalk of the handle has a shiny metal strip wrapped around about two inches of the diameter, held by three nails at each end of the wrap. The wrap has symmetrical formal lettering of : SHOSHONG 1885. The base of the handle, and the top of the right angle root have rounded caps of same shiny metal, nailed around turned collars. The metal ax, with rounded edge, has cross-hatching small triangles boardering the slim edges of the upper blade as well as diamond-shaped figures with cross-hatching on the uppermost shaft of the ax blade. The overall appearance of the implement is of balance and attractive form. It seems that the dated object was commemorative of an occasion...perhaps the British Protectorate of 1885 ?
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