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Where Does The Sotho Traditional Blanket Come From And Is It A Colonial Blanket? Opinion

The Sotho people of Lesotho and South Africa wear the Basotho blanket, which is a distinctive sort of woollen blanket.

In the late 1800s, a British man known only as "Mr. Howell" sent these blankets to King Moshoeshoe I, and they quickly became famous in Lesotho.

Although King Moshoeshoe I is credited with their transformation to "factory-woven cloth," the way Basotho men wear these traditional blankets is based on the traditional Kaross, an animal hide cloak.

Obtaining enough sheepskin covers for Karosses had become increasingly difficult by 1860, and by 1872, the vast majority of sheepskin covers had been substituted with inferior cotton or wool.

 In 1876, the King secured the production of "special blankets" after meeting with Scottish textile producer Donald Fraser. These new blankets were not only more durable, but they could also be fashioned to resemble the Kaross, and they quickly replaced the low-quality imported material that Lesotho had been wearing previously.

People in Lesotho wear a variety of these blankets to commemorate important rites of passage in society.

Young Sotho men wear the Moholobela as a fertility blanket as they prepare to enter manhood.


On her wedding day, a Mosotho bride used to wear a Motlotlehi blanket. However, the Lingoetsi blanket has now replaced the outdated Motlotlehi blanket. On the other hand, husbands usually present their wives with a Serope blanket when their first kid is born.

 Seana Marena: translates to "chief's blanket" or "king's swearing." This is the most important of all Basotho blankets, as it is only worn by the monarch and his leaders.

Lehlosi is a blanket made mostly of patterns inspired by wild cat and leopard skins. Instead of actual leopard skins, chiefs nowadays are frequently seen wearing leopard-print blankets made by professionals.

Content created and supplied by: All-About-Africa (via Opera News )

Basotho British Lesotho Moshoeshoe I Sotho

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