Botswana's large deposits of diamonds have made it one of the richest African countries on a per capita basis. However, more than wealth, what has made Botswana a model country in southern Africa is its long tradition of democratic rule, respect for ethnic and racial differences, freedom of the press, and governmental programs to support its citizens. Even though Botswana has had its share of problems―including ecological disasters such as drought― the spirit of its people and their willingness, despite cultural differences, to work together to overcome such setbacks make this country exceptional. General readers will find a wealth of up-to-date information on such topics as the legacy of Christian missionaries, especially the famous David Livingstone, society post-Independence, the unique blend of Christianity and ancestral spiritual practices, the AIDS crisis, initiation rites, community rule by chiefs, polygamy, cattle raising, food and beer, betrothal customs, education, unique games, the integral music and dance, and much more.
The authors provide a thorough, one-stop resource for learning about a significant country that has stayed peaceful despite the strife of neighboring South Africa and Angola, for example. Narrative chapters by these insiders cover the land, people, languages, education, economy, history, religion and worldview, literature and media, art and architecture, cuisine and traditional dress, gender roles, marriage, and family, social customs and lifestyle, and music and dance. Photos, a chronology, and a glossary complement the narrative.