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  • Short Summary

    Educational film showing the lifestyle of people of Basutoland, Africa.

  • Description

    "Basutoland and its People".

    Intertitle "Basutoland is a mountainous territory surrounded entirely by the Union of South Africa, but its tribes are ruled by their native chiefs under the protection of the Imperial Government."
    Several shots of the people and livestock travelling across vast land.
    Intertitle "The country was originally inhabited by a few wondering Bushmen, primitive people of a dirty yellow colour, and only some 4 feet high."
    Close up shot of a native man talking.
    Intertitle "150 years ago Basutoland was invaded by tribes of stalwart negroes, the ancestors of those who now wholly inhabit it."
    Close up shot of a young black man with funny hair (only on top of head, straight up) talking into camera moving his head.
    Intertitle "Incessant tribal warfare was the rule until 1884, when the Imperial Government took control. Since then peace has reigned."
    Various shots of the native village with people and livestock around.
    Intertitle: "Native huts are built of stone. Reeds form the roof thatch and the screen enclosure which keeps out the wind. Reeds also go to the making of mate... (?)
    Several shots of the native women working with children looking on.
    Intertitle: "... and circular baskets to carry in grain from the fields.
    Several shots of the men making the baskets, children and women around.
    Intertitle: "The men do much of the work of the fields, but most other tasks are left to the women."
    Woman making a clay pot, children sitting next to her.
    Intertitle: "The laborious process of beet making is also undertaken by women. It commences with the grinding of soaked grain."

    Woman's hands are see grinding grain by rolling a stone over stone base. Woman working and two children watching.
    Intertitle: "The flour is moulded into a paste with hot water, and strained into an iron pot. Ground green mealies are added for yeast."
    Several shots of the women working with children around. One woman has a baby strapped to her back.
    Intertitle: "The mixture ferments and is made into a potent brew by repeated boiling."
    Women are seen boiling the brew over fire.
    Intertitle: "The Basuto women use any odd piece of steel to shave their children's heads - a process endured with becoming fortitude."
    Several shots of a woman shaving child's head - looks painful.
    Intertitle: "They polish them with sand and water!"
    Woman polishes child's head.
    Intertitle: "None of the younger children are overburdened with clothing, through the weather is often cold. They are shy of white people..."
    Children are seen running inside a hut - presumably when the white camera crew came close to them.
    Intertitle: "... but have been known to respond to a little gentle bribery!"
    A white woman approaches the hut and calls the children out - she gives them a coin. A great shot of the children passing the coin from hand to hand wondering what it is. A little boy poses for camera. He turns to side - as if he is photographed for the police record. More shots of the children.
    Intertitle: "Wild animals are scarce in Basutoland, and the natives value highly any skins they can obtain. They prepare and cure them with great care."
    Two men holding a skin posing for camera. Several shots of the men working on skin.

    Intertitle: "The great day of the village comes when it is chosen as the scene of a great tribal meeting, or "Pitso". The Basutos arrive in their thousands from miles around."
    Various shots of the people on horseback arriving to the village for the meeting.
    Intertitle: "The chiefs may be distinguished by their tall head dresses."
    Various shots of the chiefs - they decorate their heads with feathers."
    Intertitle: "On arrival the ponies are herded together and tethered to await their masters."
    Several shots of the ponies.
    Intertitle: "The warriors assemble in long lines,, and are addressed by their chiefs on matters of tribal interest."
    Several shots of the crowds and the chiefs talking.
    Intertitle: "After the meeting, the gathering settles down to a feast. Smoke arises from a thousand fires."
    Long panning shot of the crowds camping. Various shots of the people preparing meals or sitting around fires.
    Intertitle: "The feast is followed by song and dance."
    Various shots of the men and women dancing. Several close up shots of the people smiling, having fun.
    Intertitle: "As twilight falls, the tribesmen set out on their long ride home."
    Several shots of the people riding, leaving the camp.
    Intertitle: "While from the summit of a kopje the village children wave farewell."
    Long shot of the village children waving from the top of the cliff.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    1930 - 1939
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Black & White
    Time in/Out:
    01:00:02:00 / 01:13:32:00

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