chapter  1
12 Pages

Landscapes of Clearance: Archaeological and Anthropological Perspectives

This chapter presents an analysis of the definitions of landscape and landscape history by the custodians of history in Malaka, a village of the Batswapong peoples located at the foot of the Tswapong Hills in east-central Botswana. It discusses three main themes of relations with the landscape: naming the landscape, symbolism and meaning tied to landscapes, and the fullness of some 'empty' spaces where such landscapes are contested. Beginning in the 1860s, the Batswapong peoples were under the subjugation of Bangwato supremacy. The Bangwato occupied the Batswapong landscape, they would have had grounds to legitimize their occupation. It is evident, that the male-female relationship was not the only one that needed highlighting in the late nineteenth-century to early twentieth-century Batswapong landscape. To the Batswapong, landscape features have a role to play in making statements: both Tshekedi's Road and Dimomo Cave are places within the Tswapong Hills range with mysterious stories told about them regarding forms of forbidden alteration.