Sustainably and ethically crafted in South Africa the My Africa Collection are a range of incredibly soft warm and exceptionally durable blankets that take their inspiration from the cultures and people that inhabit this beautiful land
This beautiful and vibrant throw has been inspired by the colorful Kente fabric, which originated from West Ghana in the 11th century. Kente comes from the word ‘kenten,’ which means ‘basket’ in the Akan dialect, Asante. The fabric is extraordinary, as it was originally the royal cloth of kings, worn only in times of extreme importance. While its esteem remains high, Kente cloth is today in wide use. The different cloth designs carry specific non-verbal messages, such as Mako Maso Adeae (my heart’s desire), meaning ‘I love you, when the cloth is left at the front door of a women’s house.
The Maasai of Kenya and Tanzania has inspired this unique throw. With a timeless history steeped in tradition, The warrior is greatly important as a source of pride in the Maasai culture. To be a Maasai is to be born into one of the world’s last great warrior cultures. The cloth used to wrap around the body is called Shúkà, and the word Maasai means “the speaker of the language Maa.”
The traditionally dyed cotton fabrics of the people of Mali are the inspiration behind this intricate mud cloth throw. Since its early roots in this rich culture, it is the men’s duty to weave the fabric, after which it is handed over to the women. They dye the fabric using mud that has been fermented for up to a year. The fabric is then dried in the sun, and symbolic patterns are painted on by hand. Traditionally worn by hunters, the designs are rich in cultural significance, referring to historical events, mythological concepts, or proverbs.
Inspired by the unique tradition and style of Ndebele house painting, this vibrant and beautifully patterned throw is bursting with Ndebele culture. The patterns and expressive symbols created on the walls of the houses serve as a form of communication between the different groups of the Ndebele people originating from the northeastern parts of South Africa. Culturally, each Ndebele woman has a marriage blanket, called a nguba. She has worn this blanket throughout her entire life. The blanket is embellished with different types of beads to signify the other events in her life, such as her son attaining manhood.
The Xhosa blanket is inspired by the stripes of timeless Xhosa clothing and blankets. Unique to the Xhosa people, the predominant use of black and white in their designs is steeped in tradition. Cultural rituals are symbolic through every stage of life and development for the Xhosa people, such as knowing one’s isiduko (clan). This is considered so important that when two strangers meet for the first time, the first identity that gets shared is isiduko. This forms the origins of ubuntu (human kindness), a behavior synonymous with this nation, as extending a helping hand to a stranger when in need. It is also the root of the saying, “it takes a village to raise a child.”
This beautifully crafted throw is inspired by the elaborate and complex designs of the traditional Kuba cloth, unique to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Perpetuating the rich cultural traditions, the men grow the raa palms and weave the leaves into the base fabric. The women then embroider surface decorations onto the fabric transforming it into various forms of textiles, such as ceremonial skirts, tribute cloths, headdresses, and basketry.
All our blankets are sustainably and ethically crafted in South Africa with consent from the King of Lesotho. Our factory is in its 66th year and is 4th generation family-owned and operated. They are the industry leader in utilizing low-impact and socially responsible practices. They are the sole exclusive producer of the Basotho heritage blankets with consent by the Basotho Nation.