shop
  • SHOP ALL

    NEW ARRIVALS

  • BLANKET SPOTLIGHT

  • About
  • About

  • Mill

  • Mission

  • Blankets

  • Offset

  • History Of the Basotho Heritage Blanket Including the famous seanamarena meaning

    8 min read

    History Of the Basotho Heritage Blanket African Women standing infront of Lesotho waterfall wrapped in Basotho Blanket

    The History of the Basotho Blanket Meaning behind their names Including the famous seanamarena meaning

    Did You Know? 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

    The Basotho Blanket layout and Design

    The Basotho Blanket and the British Royal Family connection

    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.

    Man on horse wrapped in Basotho Blanket

    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

    Basotho blanket layout design salom

    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 Tulaâ„¢  is the proud, sole supplier of the Basotho heritage blankets to the United States. 

    Two sotho men wearing Basotho heritage blanket

    The Victoria England Basotho Blanket

    Honoring queen Victoria

    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 meaning the Crown Jewel of the Basotho Blankets To swear by the chiefs

    Seanamarena  is the crown jewel

    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.  


    Seanamarena meaning


    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.


    Basotho Blankets In Hollywood


    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

    More great resources to learn about the unique and iconic Basotho blanket

    FAQ - The Questions You want Answered

    What does the Basotho blanket Symbolize?

    The Basotho blanket is a traditional woolen blanket worn by the Basotho people, a Bantu ethnic group native to the Kingdom of Lesotho and parts of South Africa.


    The blanket is an important cultural symbol with practical and symbolic significance for the Basotho people.


    Practically, the Basotho blanket is worn as a form of protection against the cold weather in the high mountains of Lesotho.


    Symbolically, the blanket is a marker of Basotho identity and represents the wearer's cultural heritage, history, and status.


    The patterns and colors of the blanket also have specific meanings and are often associated with different clans and families within the Basotho community.


    The Basotho blanket is also a symbol of the relationship between the Basotho people and the British Empire.


    The blanket was introduced to the Basotho people by European traders and became a popular item of clothing during the late 19th century.


    Today, the Basotho blanket is produced locally in Lesotho and by companies outside of Lesotho.


    It has become a popular item of clothing and a symbol of African heritage worldwide.

    What is the history of the Basotho blanket?

    The history of the Basotho blanket dates back to the early 19th century when King Moshoeshoe I founded the Basotho kingdom.


    At that time, the Basotho people wore animal hides and furs as clothing to protect themselves from the harsh mountain weather of Lesotho.


    However, with the arrival of European traders and missionaries, the Basotho began to wear imported woolen blankets as a form of clothing.


    One of the most popular blankets the Basotho people wore was the Welsh tapestry blanket, which was imported from the United Kingdom.


    The Welsh tapestry blankets were known for their durability, warmth, and intricate designs, and they quickly became popular among the Basotho people.


    In the 1860s, a South African textile company called Aranda began producing a version of the Welsh tapestry blanket for the Basotho market.

    The Aranda blankets were made of high-quality wool and featured designs and patterns inspired by Basotho culture and tradition.


    Today, the Basotho blanket is an important cultural symbol for the Basotho people and is produced both locally in Lesotho and by companies outside of Lesotho.


    The blankets continue to be worn as a form of protection against the cold weather and a symbol of Basotho identity, heritage, and status.

    What is special about Basotho?

    The Basotho people are a Bantu ethnic group native to the Kingdom of Lesotho and parts of South Africa.


    They have a rich cultural heritage and are known for their unique traditions, customs, and way of life.


    Here are some of the things that are special about the Basotho:


    1. The Basotho people have a deep sense of community and are known for their strong family ties and social bonds. They place great value on respect, hospitality, and generosity toward others.
    2. The Basotho people have a rich storytelling, music, and dance tradition. They are known for their vibrant and colorful cultural celebrations, such as the annual Morija Arts and Cultural Festival.
    3. The Basotho people are renowned for their horsemanship skills and have a long history of using horses for transportation and warfare. They are also famous for their traditional Basotho pony, a small but hardy breed of horse native to Lesotho.
    4. The Basotho people have a unique clothing style, including the famous Basotho blanket. This woolen blanket is worn to protect against the cold weather and as a symbol of Basotho identity.
    5. The Basotho people have a rich history of resistance against colonialism and apartheid and played an essential role in the struggle for independence and democracy in South Africa.

    Overall, the Basotho people are a resilient, proud, and culturally rich community with a deep connection to their history, traditions, and way of life.

    What is unique about Basotho culture?

    The Basotho people have a rich and unique culture shaped by their history, traditions, and way of life.

    Here are some of the things that are unique about Basotho culture:


    1. The Basotho blanket: The Basotho blanket is a traditional woolen blanket worn as a form of clothing and a symbol of Basotho identity. The blankets are made in various colors and patterns and are often associated with different clans and families within the Basotho community.
    2. Horses and horsemanship: The Basotho people have a long history of using horses for transportation and warfare and are renowned for their horsemanship skills. They have a unique style of riding called the "Basotho seat," which involves sitting upright on the horse's back without a saddle.
    3. Music and dance: The Basotho people have a rich storytelling, music, and dance tradition. They use music and dance to celebrate important occasions, such as weddings and cultural festivals. The most popular traditional dance is the "Mokhibo," which involves rhythmic movements and singing.
    4. Crafts and art: The Basotho people are skilled in various crafts, including pottery, weaving, and wood carving. They also have a rich painting and sculpture tradition, often inspired by Basotho history and mythology.
    5. Traditional healers: The Basotho people have a long tradition of using traditional medicine to treat illness and disease. Traditional healers, or "sangomas," are highly respected community members and play an essential role in Basotho culture.

    The Basotho culture is characterized by a strong sense of community, pride in their heritage, and a deep connection to their land and natural environment.

    What religion is Sotho?

    The Sotho people, known as Basotho, have a diverse religious landscape.


    Before the arrival of Christianity and Islam, the Basotho people followed traditional African religions based on a belief in a supreme being and a pantheon of ancestral spirits.


    Today, many Basotho people are Christian, with the largest denominations being the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Church, and various Protestant denominations.


    European missionaries introduced Christianity to the Basotho people in the 19th century and has since become a dominant religion in Lesotho.


    There is also a small Muslim community among the Basotho people, primarily composed of immigrants from other African countries and South Asia.


    Islam was introduced to Lesotho in the late 19th century by Muslim traders and scholars from neighboring countries.


    Overall, the Basotho people have a rich spiritual and religious heritage reflected in their traditions, customs, and way of life.

    What do Sotho girls wear?

    Like all Basotho people, Sotho girls have unique and colorful traditional attire that reflects their cultural identity.


    Here are some of the things that Sotho girls wear:


    1. Basotho blanket: The Basotho blanket is an iconic part of traditional Sotho attire. It is a thick, woolen blanket worn over the shoulders to protect against cold weather. The blankets come in various colors and designs and are often associated with different clans and families within the Sotho community.
    2. Shweshwe dress: The traditional dress is made from a printed cotton fabric known as shweshwe. The dress is typically brightly colored and features intricate patterns and designs. It is worn for special occasions such as weddings and cultural festivals.
    3. Headwrap: Sotho girls often wear headwraps, which are large pieces of fabric tied around the head in various styles. The headwraps are usually made from the same fabric as the shweshwe dress and are worn as a cultural expression.
    4. Beaded jewelry: Sotho girls often wear beaded jewelry, such as necklaces, bracelets, and earrings, which are typically made from colorful beads and shells. The jewelry is often worn as decoration and can be pretty elaborate.

    Overall, traditional Sotho attire is a beautiful and colorful expression of their cultural heritage and is an essential part of their identity as a people.


    Also in Community Stories

    Blankets from Mexico: Exploring the Evolution from Traditional Textiles to Modern Comfort
    Blankets from Mexico: Exploring the Evolution from Traditional Textiles to Modern Comfort

    7 min read

    Read More
    a women is making native american blanket with hands
    Unveiling the Rich History and Cultural Significance of Native American Blankets

    7 min read

    Read More
    How to Wash Blankets: A Comprehensive Guide 2023
    How to Wash Blankets: A Comprehensive Guide 2023

    6 min read

    Read More