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Morokweng


Morokweng.
 
Morokweng lies 140 kilometres north-west of Vryburg. It is the principal village of the Barlong boo Ratlou ba Moamogwe, part of which are sometimes referred to as the western Barolong. It is both a village and a rural district. It is situated at a pan of water known as Tswaing. It was first occupied by kgosi Manketso in the 1790's after he broke away from the main Barolong faction at Kuruman.  Manketso was an important figure in the history of the baRolong of the Vryburg district. Surrounding villages under the control of the Barolong boo Ratlou include Khunkwe, and Matloading. Also resident in the Morokweng Reserve are the Barolong boo Ratlou ba Molale resident at Konke.









They were able to live as pastoralists and hunters, but agricultural opportunities were limited. Being close to modern Botswana the Barolong boo Ratlou participated in the long distance Kalahari trade, particularly in ostrich feathers.  This placed them in competition with Kora traders, and there was some friction between them in the latter decades of the nineteenth century.     
 
When the British colonised Bechuanaland in 1886, Morkweng was designated a Native Reserve, and the Barolong boo Ratlou ba Moamogwe  had to pay taxes to the British authorities. In the late 1950s the extent of the Morokweng reserve was estimated to be 160,000 morgen in extent The inhabitants were able to avoid the harsher aspects of colonial rule as they were able to pursue "alternative economic opportunities of long distance trading and transport riding, and …to utilise the hunting and grazing grounds of the [Bechuanaland} Protectorate".[1] 
 
In 1994 Morokweng made the headlines when a large meteorite crater was discovered buried in the ground near the village, now called the Morokweng crater. The crater, at least 70 kilometres in diameter, was formed by the impact of an asteroid 5-10 kilometres in diameter, whose age is estimated to be nearly a million years. Some of the fragments of the meteorite are housed at Lndon's Science Museum.       
 
 
 
 




[1] K. Shillington, The Colonisation  of the Southern Tswana, 1870-1900, (Ravan Press, Johannesburg, 1985, p. 241.



South Africa's North-West province: A Guide to its History and Heritage. © 2017

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