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AAs a nation that boasts about its rich culture, the Basotho can trace their origins to the pre-historic age. The Basotho, also known as Sotho speakers, are said to have originated from the north of Southern Africa. The Basotho made their way down as various tribes settled in different parts of the country. Some groups settled in the west, while others settled in the east and further south. Today these diverse groups are respectively known as the Batswana, BaPedi and Basotho tribes.

The Basotho associate and identify themselves through the use of their clan names, which specify their ancestral origins; namely the Bataung, Basia, Bafokeng, Makgolokoe and Bakuena et al.  The royal family of Lesotho is largely made up of Bakuena.

Up until 1822, these tribes lived together in peace until they were invaded by fugitive Nguni who had fled from Natal. This was followed by an era of political unrest where tribes were divided and spread across different lands. The Tlokoa tribe followed the Manthaisi, and other tribes followed the Sebetoane. These tribes suffered great losses under the attacks of armies led by Shaka and Mzilikazi. Numerous tribes followed Moshoeshoe and headed further south into the country, seeking refuge at the unconquerable Thaba-Bosiu. Moshoeshoe accepted all those who had survived the attacks and was able to build the Basotho nation as we know it today. His rule is said to, at one time, have extended from modern-day Lesotho to all of the Free State.

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