The Sotho (//) people, also known as the Basuto or Basotho (//), are a Bantu ethnic group that are native to Lesotho and South Africa. The Basotho have inhabited the region since around the fifth century CE and are closely related to other Bantu speaking peoples of the region.
|c. 6 million (2001 est.)|
|Regions with significant populations|
|South Africa||3,544,304 (2001 census) |
|African traditional religion, Christianity|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Pedi people, Tswana and Lozi|
The modern Basotho identity emerged from the accomplished diplomacy of Moshoeshoe I who unified the disparate clans of Sotho–Tswana origin that had dispersed across southern Africa in the early 19th century. Most Basotho today live in Lesotho or South Africa, as the area of the Orange Free State was originally part of Moshoeshoe's nation (now Lesotho).