Lesotho, Kingdom of
- Charles R. Adams
- , revised by David Coplan
Country in southern Africa. It has an area of 30,355 km² and a population of 2·29 million (2000 estimate), 98% of whom are Basotho. Basotho music is stylistically similar to that of the other indigenous peoples of southern Africa, including the Xhosa, some of whom live in south-central Lesotho. The Basotho have strong historical, cultural and linguistic links with the Tswana of Botswana and the Sotho (Pedi) of South Africa’s Northern province, but corporate and geographical separation of these peoples since the 18th century have differentiated their musical styles, especially those connected with social identity, rituals of the life-cycle and economic pursuits.
Music is an integral part of Basotho social education and traditionally links hearing with the understanding of the natural and social worlds. The temporal arts (lipapali: ‘games’) of the Basotho are clearly separated from the graphic and plastic arts. Their four basic types include one connected with speaking (...