Watch our information video by Nini Klass from Sparrow Society. She explains the background and cultural significance of the Basotho blanket, the beautiful blankets made World famous through the movie, Black Panther. Also includes tips on how to properly style and wear the blankets for men and women and meet the people from the Sparrow Society team behind the making of the Basotho Blanket Jackets
The incredible designs and colours do not only make the blanket even more beautiful and unique. They also convey a message. Each blanket design takes from part of the culture of Lesotho. Take one of the originals and the very popular Seana-Marena. Its prestige starts from its name – “to swear by the chiefs”. So wearing this would be likened to a very elegant robe, one befitting a chief, King or royalty. With it now available in new colours, one of its variations, which is its distinctive corn design has always been maintained (maize is Basotho’s staple food). This is one among many other blankets with unique names, which all have a story to tell about the Basotho people and who they are.
Just the draping alone of the unisex blankets on a body immediately makes it become a man’s or a woman’s blanket. The blanket is worn with the ever-constant stripes within each blanket facing vertical. For men, the blanket is usually worn in full length and to one side of the shoulder. It usually gets tucked within than outward at the neck. Women on the other hand, wear the blanket with a fold at the top making a large “collar” fold of the blanket and pin the blanket in the centre.
Like any piece of clothing or attire, there is the right side to wear the blanket. Another interesting fact – the Basotho blanket is worn with the label outward and seen by all! This is where the details of the blanket are, including the most important, which is the name of the blanket.
You may ask, “Am I worthy to be draped in this magnificent blanket?” Why, yes! You too can join many who continue to communicate the cultural message of the treasured blankets.
Now, the moment this blanket is on you, you have said to the Basotho people that you embrace and choose to embody their culture and story of who they are, and also choose to be a messenger spreading the message associated with the blanket you are wearing!
SO! Which part of the Basotho culture do you want to spread with the blanket of your choice? Happy choosing!
About the Author: Mpinane (Nini) Klass serves as the Assistant to the Director of Sparrow Society.
“I studied English and Public Relations and
am passionate about young people and chocolate! I enjoy skiing in the mountains of Lesotho and love snow more than an African should!”