Many South African communities use blankets to commemorate not only their tribes, but also a key period or event in their lives.
Blankets are part of long-standing traditions; designs vary based on the tribe or region, so even among the Basotho people, there are different designs representing each tribe.
Blankets serve a variety of functions in traditional culture, from serving as wedding gifts to syncing a young man's retreat for his transition into manhood.
It's crucial not to mix together cultural blankets or expect one culture to use the same pattern as another because of the religious function blankets play in some cultures and the distinct meanings tied to patterns, design, and color.
Color and design play an important role in traditional blankets. The Xhosas are known as the "Red Blanket People," partially because they wear ochre-colored blankets at traditional events.
Although the use of blankets is not the only reason for the connection to red, it is nonetheless important in that culture.
Blankets are also utilized at a loved one's burial and grief. Traditionally, an animal skin, such as a cowhide or leopard skin, would have been draped over the deceased's body or coffin, but blankets have gradually replaced animal skins, partially as a sign of returning home.
South Africa is a proudly diverse country with strong ties to the rest of the world. Traditional blankets are increasingly being mass made as the use of blankets has become more broadly accepted in more cultures.
Ndebele women are recognized for their brilliantly colored blankets, which are frequently worn as part of their clothing. The tribe's blankets are made to reflect specific occasions, such as the bride's wedding blanket, which has beads signifying significant events in her life.
The Basotho blanket is a unique type of woollen blanket worn by the Sotho people of Lesotho and South Africa.
Lesotho's people wear a variety of these blankets to symbolise various rites of passage in society around the country.
The Moholobela is a fertility blanket worn by young Sotho men as they prepare to become men. Young males in Lesotho will don a separate blanket known as the Lekhokolo after the initiation ceremony, indicating that they have reached adulthood.
A Mosotho bride used to wear a Motlotlehi blanket on her wedding day, but the Lingoetsi blanket has now replaced the outmoded Motlotlehi blanket. When their first child is born, husbands, on the other hand, give their wives a Serope blanket.
Which one is more beautiful?
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