Music and dance feature strongly in the rituals of this magical country, as well as in its everyday life.
Arts and Craftswork
Basotho craftspeople are skilled in a diverse array of crafts, a skill which gives but a glimpse of the country’s rich heritage. Traditional Basotho craftsware has given Lesotho a strong identity and a reputation for quality, individuality and visual variety with a universal appeal. A grass basket, a finely woven, mohair rug, a hand printed fabric, a clay pottery serving dish – beauty and functionality all-in-one.
Lesotho has justifiably earned a reputation as a producer of the finest wool and mohair tapestries. Completely hand-woven by Basotho weavers; tapestries, colourful mats, crotchet garments, and rugs display a unique character and a rare and fine artistic worksmanship. These works of art are available in a variety of sizes with designs ranging from typical villages scenes to geometric and abstract patterns.
The best known of Basotho’s grasswork is the Basotho Hat, the “Mokorotlo”, with its conical shape having become a global symbol of the country. The traditional mats, including sleeping mats and decorative circular mats, are also popular in the country.
The skills and creative art of the village potter combined with modern technology have brought new and exciting opportunities of expression. From tableware, vases, candle holders and other decorative items pottery in Lesotho is as creative as the Basotho people themselves.
Climate conditions and the rugged terrain are ideal for sheep rearing. This in turn means an abundant supply of sheepskin products, from soft and comfortable slippers to extra-warm jackets and much more.
The ready supply of hides and skins in the Mountain Kingdom has encouraged the growth of the budding leather crafts industry. There is a plentiful supply of hand made and fashionably designed sandals, handbags, belts, and small gift items.
With such an abundant resource as stone, the Mountain Kingdom craftsmen were bound to use stone to make the most lasting impressions. Garden gnomes, gate entrance artwork, plagues, are but some of the stonecraft crafted from sandstone that adorn Government offices, other buildings of importance, and homes of Basotho.
Traditional jewellery such as necklaces made from seeds, and clay beads, has provided inspiration for the craftsmen and women of modern-day Lesotho who work with silver, gold, cow horn, copper, brass, ebony, and semi-precious stones to produce attractive jewellery pieces.
In true African style, visitors will find a range of local crafts all around the country and in the town centers, and have an eye opening experience to see the products in their making by local women and men in their communities.
Central outlets for your take home gifts and souvenirs is the Basotho Hat, and the Basotho Shield both centrally located in the heart of Maseru.
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