The Basotho blanket is a proud symbol of nationality for the people of Lesotho. History and tradition have made the blanket an icon of the last two centuries and have origins harking back to the formation of Lesotho and it's establishment as a British Protectorate under Queen Victoria. A symbol of the coming together of cultures in a way that preserved and enhanced a beautiful culture and warmed the people quite literally.
The first blanket was given in the western tradition as a bedcover but was adapted immediately as a ceremonial and symbolic form of apparel. When worn there is significance and protocol for instance:
• A male would wear the darker side outwards, and a female the lighter
• Blankets are worn with its stripes always in a vertical position, symbolising growth and prosperity
• The blanket should be folded at the top, and adjusted to the right size
• It should drape and open to the right side for males, or the front for females
• A pin should secure the blanket, either on the right shoulder, or the front, and be displayed prominently for females, but hidden for males.
The symbolism of the motifs are as old as the ceremonies themselves:
“Victoria England”: Oldest of the Basotho Heritage brands, strongly celebrating royalty and cherished English roots.
“Seanamarena”: Considered the Royal Crown of the Basotho Heritage brands, with a long and cherished history, dating back to the turn of the 20th century. The “Poone” design strongly emphasises the “corncob” or “mealie”, which symbolises growth and fertility, and often gifted at wedding ceremonies. The name literally means “to swear by the Chiefs”.
“Kharetsa”: Named after the Spiral Aloe, found only in the Maluti Mountains of Lesotho
When not worn there is no protocol but the reminder of heritage, tradition, the coming together of cultures, Africa, craft and the inherent beauty of the fabrication, materials and motifs make this a wonderful gift with a stories to tell and connections to be made or sought after. We know from experience that Lesotho should be high on the travelers lists of beautiful land and culture carefully preserved.
155 x 165 inches.
50% Wool, 50% Dralon Acrylic on Poly/Cotton warp.
Made in South Africa