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View Diary: Indians 101: Traditional Northern Plains Warfare (8 comments)

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  •  This reminds me of Moshoeshoe of Lesotho (Africa) (4+ / 0-)
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    foresterbob, Ojibwa, Navy Vet Terp, Bionic

    Moshoeshoe (pronounced Mo-shwe-shwe) was one of the greatest kings of 19th century southern Africa. There were terrible wars in the early 1800s, and he built a refugee kingdom that gathered in people regardless of their nation or tribe and offered them protection and security in the mountains.

    At the same time, Europeans were colonizing the area, but he defended his territory leading to the creation of the modern nation of Lesotho, which is entirely surrounded by South Africa, because South Africa was never able to completely subdue Lesotho. Eventually Lesotho sought and obtained protection against South Africa by the British Empire.

    The reason this reminds me of Moshoeshoe is that his name refers to his prowess at "warfare" as the Basotho understood it.

    "Shweshwe" is a word that represents the sound of a man shaving his beard.

    "Moshoeshoe" had a different name as a child, but his skill at "rustling cattle" from rival chiefs of his elders  is what gave him his name: he was said to "shave the beards" of other chiefs. Moshoeshoe means "the man who shaves beards."

    In other words, war was like a game involving stealing or rustling cattle, and Moshoeshoe was the greatest cattle thief of all, which was considered an honor, especially in the context of the all out total war that the British and Afrikaners would introduce to the sub-continent.

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