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Although Lesotho has undergone politic strife and change during the past thirty years, the Basotho are bonded by a deep reverence for the royal family and a fierce determination to remain an independent nation. Lesotho is a very homogenous nation, both in terms of the ethnic makeup of its population as well as religion and culture.
Lesotho's strong cultural identity does not translate into a strong national identity, however, since its location deep in the heart of South Africa has historically forced the small country into dependence on its much larger neighbor. The Sotho ethnic group comprises almost 100 percent of Lesotho's population.
The people of Lesotho are called Basotho (plural) and Mosotho (singular).
The culture is cohesive, with Basotho comprising over 99 percent of the country's population, the remainder being of Asian of European origin.
The national anthem is "Lesotho, Land of our Fathers" ( Lesotho fatse la bontat'a rona ). Lesotho was originally inhabited by the Bushmen who roamed southern Africa, as evidenced by the Bushmen drawings and paintings in the river gorges.
At the end of the twentieth century these figures could alter rapidly as the HIV/AIDS crisis impacts the general population.
Both men and women invariably wear the wool Basotho blanket as a cloak, regardless of the season.
The careful selection of color and pattern allows for individual expression.
Survivors of the wars fled into the highlands of what is now Lesotho and, under the leadership of an African chief named Moshoeshoe, formed the current Basotho ethnic group.
Moshoeshoe established fortresses in the mountains and consolidated the Sotho-speaking inhabitants into a nation in the early 1800s.
The homogeneous makeup of the country has allowed Lesotho to avoid much of the civil unrest that has plagued other African nations with more ethnically diverse populations.