In Bojanala Region, in the Moot Valley

History of the Area

The village of Maanhaarrand (‘maned ridge’) is located in an important archaeological area which takes its name from a distinctive ridge in the area, resembling the mane of a lion. The ridge originates from dikes of diabase rock which thrust up through the floor of the Magalies River valley.

The weathered boulders of the ridge provided material for the Stone Age artists and Iron Age village builders who once inhabited the region.

Prehistoric rock engravings have been found in the area, as have, in big ash heaps among the ruins of villages, the remains of the humans, their pottery and the bones of the animals they had slaughtered for food.

The outlines of many Iron Age villages can be clearly seen on aerial photographs of the valley.

It is also a syenite dyke in geological terms, the highest point and principal watershed in the Moot. Intrusions of syenite “penetrated the Magaliesberg from the Pilanesberg volcano as molten material which radiated out from the crater, forming dykes several hundred kilometres long: one such dyke runs through Breedtsnek and Maanhaarrand” (Vincent Carruthers in The Magaliesberg).

The Tswana people talk of a time, many centuries ago, when their ancestors migrated from a mythical source known as the “Cave of Lowe” and moved southward through what are now Zambia and Botswana, before settling over the highveld interior of southern Africa.

Among the first people to have broken away from the main stream of these sothward migrations were the Hurutshe, who established themselves along the Madikwe (Marico) River. The Hurutshe’s principal settlement, Kaditshwene, had an estimated population in 1800 that which was documented to be larger than Cape Town at that time. Kaditshwene is one of the many heritages sites found in the North West Province.

An important offshoot of the Hurutshe, the Kwena goup, moved westwards into the Magaliesberg, flourished and settled beyond the Oori (Crocodile) River. Modimosana, the chief of the Kwena, divided his chiefdom among his four sons. Of these, the Kwena Mmatau were particularly successful and eventually emerged as the dominant group.

By 1800, the group had constructed extensive stonewalled settlements all along the southern slopes of the Magaliesberg from Magatasnek to somewhere near the present village of Maanhaarrand. (Vincent Carruthers in The Magaliesberg).