(Night Mountain)


Dual notation (staff & tonic solfa), Staff notation
choir SATB
Joshua Pulumo Mohapeloa Critical Edition

Referring to a prominent sandstone plateau in north-west Lesotho, the name Thaba-Bosiu literally means ‘night mountain’. Although only 1,800 metres above sea level, this plateau rises sheer out of the plain and is a formidable natural fortress. This is what the name implies: that its size is deceptively near when seen from afar but night falls before enemies can make the dangerous ascent. It is a sacred site in Lesotho: first, because it was the mountain fortress of the Basotho from the time of King Moshoeshoe I onwards. From here he defended his territory against enemies that included Boer commanders and African cattle raiders. Second, because Moshoeshoe and his family are buried on top of the plateau, which is one of the most spiritual sites in the country. It was this plateau that Lesotho’s first missionary, Eugene Casalis climbed in 1833, to meet Moshoeshoe and gain his support to establish the first Christian mission to Basotho.