3 min read

The History of the Basotho Blanket

In 1897 Queen Victoria visited the then Basutoland during her Jubilee year. She gave King Lerotholi Letsie a blanket as a gift. The blanket was named the Victoria England. The Basotho people had a great love and respect for Queen Victoria and the Victoria England blanket has become a sought-after status symbol. The Victoria England is the oldest of the Basotho blanket brands and includes many famous designs; for example the Badges of the Brave which was designed by Mr. R.D. Shrubsole. He was inspired by the Basotho regiments who fought alongside the allies during World War II. The design features the various badges belonging to these regiments. However, through the years the Basotho have come to refer to this design as NZ, meaning Nazareth. This is more inclined towards their religious and Christian beliefs.

The Basotho Unique layout and Design

What makes the Basotho blankets unique is the layout of the design, the various symbols used, the bold color combinations, and the characteristic pin-stripe. This stripe was originally a weaving fault which has become a unique part of the design and dictates how the blanket is worn. When worn traditionally, the pin-stripe runs vertically symbolizing growth. Traditionally Basotho blankets are manufactured from wool which offers protection from the wind and rain and provides warmth in the high altitude of The Mountain Kingdom.

Shop the Thula Tula Basotho Blanket Collection

The Basotho Blanket layout and Design

The Basotho Blanket cultural significance

Basotho blankets have deep cultural significance and history. The world-renowned Basotho tribal blankets distinguish this nation from others by how the blankets are worn as part of their everyday life. All designs have been developed over many years with the blessing of the Lesotho Royal Family

When worn traditionally, the pin-stripe runs vertically symbolizing growth. The corncob is the most widely used motif throughout the range of the Basotho heritage blankets. In Basotho, culture maize is the staple food and therefore the corncob is a symbol of fertility and wealth. 

The more prestigious SeanaMarena design features more corncobs than the everyday wearing blankets, the Sefate and Morena. Traditionally Basotho blankets are manufactured from wool which offers protection from the wind and rain and provides warmth in the high altitude of The Mountain Kingdom. Thula Tula™  is the proud, sole supplier of the Basotho heritage blankets to the United States. 

The Victoria England Basotho Blanket

The Victoria England is the oldest of the Basotho Heritage blanket brands. The Victoria England brand was created in honor of Queen Victoria for spreading her blanket of protection over Basotholand in 1838. The Basotho people had a great love and respect for Queen Victoria and the Victoria England blanket has become a sought-after status symbol. There are six designs in the Victoria Collection: Pelo-Ea-Morena (Heart of the King); Crown; Badges of the Brave; Lehlako (Crest); Skin; Malakabe (Flame)

The Karetsa Basotho Blanket

The Kharetsa is named after the spiral aloe which is only found in the Maluti Mountains of Lesotho. The aloe is prominently featured in the center of the design. It is surrounded by iconic Basotho hat and shield motifs that the Basotho Nation wear daily.

Shop the Thula Tula Basotho Blanket Collection

History Of the Basotho Heritage Blanket Basotho people wearing traditional Basotho blankets

SeanaMarena Basotho Blanket

The Seanamarena blanket is today considered the Royal Crown Jewel of all the Basotho blankets. This brand dates back to the 1930s when it was created by the late Mr. Charles Hendry Robertson who owned a trading store in Leribe called Seanamarena. The word ‘Seanamarena’ means ‘to swear by the Chiefs’. The Collection features the famous Poone design with its corncob motif. In Basotho culture, the corncob is a symbol of fertility and wealth. The Chromatic design derives its name from its creator’s initials C.H.R.

Shop the Thula Tula SeanaMarena Basotho Blanket Collection

The Basotho blanket worn traditionally by an African gentleman

The Basotho Blanket in Popular Culture 

The Basotho heritage blanket has a long and rich history not only in Lesotho but has now also reached global popularity. The Basotho Blanket was featured in The 2018 Black Panther film, where they are worn in the traditional way that the kings clansmen would wear them.

The Basotho designs have been seen on Hollywood elite and was recently used by Luis Vuiton in a line of clothing. Get your piece of African Heritage Snuggle up in warmth and comfort with the traditional Basotho Heritage blanket

Steve Watts
Steve Watts


Top