Joel Tettamanti: Lesotho

we are going on a last-minute trip on Friday, driving from Durban to Cape Town over 3 days. our route will take us up into the Kwa-Zulu Natal Midlands, along the southern border of Lesotho, through the Eastern Cape, down to the Karoo and back home. more on the later! but considering we will be travelling through the mountain range that south africa shares with Lesotho, i thought this would be a great post to share.

for those of you who don’t know – Lesotho is a landlocked country within South Africa, home to the Basotho people. it is an absolutely breathtaking place with amazing highlands that form part of the Maloti mountain range, one of the few areas in southern africa that has regular snow in winter. so it can get pretty damn cold, which meant that the local people have traditionally used furs and skins to stay warm for hundreds of years.

in 1860 King Moshoeshoe I was gifted a thick European blanket, and he was so taken with it that it has since become a part of every day life in Lesotho – as well as a status symbol. blankets are given to people in important stages of their life: e.g. birth, marriage and initiation.

The trademark four ‘pin-stripes’ synonymous with the Basotho blanket, and typically worn with the strips running on the vertical, apparently originate in an early manufacturing flaw that over time has become de rigueur. Once wrapped around the body, the blanket is secured at the wearer’s shoulders and affords comfort in extreme temperatures, as well as protection from the elements and open fires. From birth to death, the blanket plays a central role in South Sotho culture.Shnu

photographer Joel Tettamanti, who is from Switzerland but spent part of his childhood in Lesotho, took these photos of the country & its people in 2013.  you can actually buy these blankets online here, royalties go to the Lesotho Kingdom and its people.

Joel Tettamanti: Lesotho
Joel Tettamanti: Lesotho
Joel Tettamanti: Lesotho
Joel Tettamanti: Lesotho
Joel Tettamanti: Lesotho
Joel Tettamanti: Lesotho
Joel Tettamanti: Lesotho
Joel Tettamanti: Lesotho
Joel Tettamanti: Lesotho
Joel Tettamanti: Lesotho
Joel Tettamanti: Lesotho
Joel Tettamanti: Lesotho
Joel Tettamanti: Lesotho
Joel Tettamanti: Lesotho

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11 Responses to Joel Tettamanti: Lesotho

  1. Alicia Tuesday 24 June, 2014 at 6:04 pm #

    I was actually born in Lesotho, but my family left a few weeks after I was born. One day I will make way down there. Thanks for sharing these :)

  2. maggie Tuesday 24 June, 2014 at 6:25 pm #

    I love how informative your posts are – the history behind these blankets really adds to how special and beautiful they are. Enjoy your trip!

  3. Kristin Wednesday 25 June, 2014 at 2:15 am #

    What lovely blankets. The history behind them is rather cool.

  4. Albertine Wednesday 25 June, 2014 at 10:37 am #

    Wow, your pictures are absolutely great! Love this place!
    http://fashion-soup.com/

  5. Bisous Natasha Wednesday 25 June, 2014 at 4:22 pm #

    I absolutely love the concept of the blankets. ;) That’s how I walked around the house in the winter time in Johannesburg from my room to the TV when it was cold.

    http://www.bisousnatasha.com

  6. elana Wednesday 25 June, 2014 at 11:22 pm #

    I’d love to be walking around in Sydney in one of those right now . . .

  7. Rosalinda Thursday 26 June, 2014 at 3:21 am #

    These blankets, the history behind them, and the photos are breathtaking. Thank you!

  8. patty Thursday 26 June, 2014 at 11:47 pm #

    Beautiful people beautiful blankets beautiful landscape! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Sarah Duff (@SarahDuff) Wednesday 2 July, 2014 at 9:07 am #

    Beautiful shots of Lesotho via @miss_moss http://t.co/PIp5MWydfJ

  10. midori Friday 4 July, 2014 at 5:46 pm #

    very insteresting!

  11. Meruschka (@MzansiGirl) Friday 11 July, 2014 at 12:15 pm #

    Photography – #Lesotho: people and blankets http://t.co/TUoK4xie5t stunning photography by Joel Tettamanti via @miss_moss #afritravel

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