Formerly Bechuanaland Protectorate under the British, Botswana became independent in Bot swana means “place of Tswana” in the dominant national language Set swana , and the citizenry are called Bat swana, or Tswana people. The term Batswana, however, bears a double meaning. In government rhetoric, it refers to all citizens of Botswana. But the word also refers to ethnically “Tswana” people, as distinct from the other ethnic groups present in the country. This double meaning allows for both the expression of strong civic national sentiments and debate about the dominance of Tswana people and ideology over the broader population. The double meaning has also permitted the fiction, widely accepted in outside reporting, that Botswana’s success as a multiparty liberal democracy is based on an ethnically homogeneous population, when abundant state resources based upon diamond mining, responsibly and equitably distributed, are the more likely source of stability.

Language Ecology in Southern Africa,

Agricultural products are marketed both through government marketing services and privately.

Morton, Fred, and Jeff Ramsay, eds.

Most Batswana register a civil marriage, as well as conduct marriage ceremonies according to custom at home, and many have a church wedding too.

Tswana patrilineal customs predominate through the court systems, though kin groups are organized according to patrilineal, matrilineal, double-descent, or bilateral principles depending on the ethnic group.

Inheritance practices vary between groups.

In smaller villages, there are likely to be no restaurants.

These patterns have placed strains on the cooperative extended family, but most people still expect demands on their resources and time, and cooperation, from a wide range of kin.

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