National History Museum

Basotho blankets on display at Oliewenhuis Art Museum

Display of Basotho blankets

15 May – 6 July 2014

The Basotho blanket collection was made available on loan to the National Museum by the Robertson family from Ladybrand, who traded in Basotho blankets.  The uniqueness of this collection lies in its antiquity.  The collection includes a Sandringham mountain rug, or Mohodu, dating back to 1934, a Badges of the Brave blanket honouring those who fought in World War II (1939-1945) and a Batho ba Roma blanket made to commemorate Pope John Paul’s visit to Lesotho in 1988.  But certainly the most prestigious blanket in the collection is the Victoria England / Seanamarena or ‘chief’s blanket’.  Production of this type of blanket is restricted, making it more expensive and therefore a much sought after item.