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Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae

versión On-line ISSN 2412-4265
versión impresa ISSN 1017-0499


TSEUOA, Ntabanyane S. K.. Church and Land in Basutoland: The Paris Evangelical Mission and its Implications. Studia Hist. Ecc. [online]. 2020, vol.46, n.2, pp.1-16. ISSN 2412-4265.

This paper investigates how the Paris Mission acquired land in Basutoland upon the arrival of its missionaries in 1833 and in subsequent years. It also looks at changing notions of land and the missionaries' utilisation of it throughout their tenure in Basutoland. It explores how the Basuto as a people understood the possession of land vis-â-vis the European notion of buying and selling land as a commodity. Particular focus is given to the extent of the misunderstanding that took place upon the initial allocation of land to the missionaries of the Paris Mission, as well as to the Methodist Wesleyan Mission missionaries who settled at ThabaNtso (Nchu) in 1833. The missionaries gave Moshoeshoe some gifts- an act which was misconstrued by the two parties. The missionaries thought that the gifts were in exchange for the land granted to them and that they were actually buying it, while Moshoeshoe on the other hand thought that the gifts were a gesture of allegiance and goodwill to him as the king. To achieve the goal of the study, all old stations of the Paris Mission were looked into, as well as their founding missionaries to ascertain how land was granted to them by Moshoeshoe, and then how that land was utilised by the mission and the community. The study perused archival materials kept in the Morija Museum and archives. Some interviews were conducted among people well versed on the issue of land and the Paris Mission.

Palabras clave : Moshoeshoe; land; Basuto; Morija; Paris Mission; European.

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