Bechuanaland: Walking the Tightrope

By camel and dugout canoe, through bleak lion country and rich tobacco fields, the electorate of Bechuanaland proceeded to the polls. Some were red-faced Afrikaner farmers in sports shirts and veldskoen; others were naked Kalahari bushmen, whose ways have not changed since they learned to paint on rocks 15,000 years ago. At the polling place—in some cases a tidy brick schoolhouse, in others a thatch-roofed hut beneath a twisted mopane tree—each voter received a handful of col ored, coin-size counters representing the candidates of five political parties. Cynics called it "the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!