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Ethnographic Department

Morija Museum presents a number of objects from the Basotho and other people from Southern Africa.

Wooden Sculpure

Sculptures

This wooden sculpture is part of a collection of 7 objects created by Thabo Mautsoa in the 1970s. They were sculpted from teak railway ties …

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Drawing H

Drawing H

This drawing by Tsepiso Lesenyeho illustrates stick fighting, a common past-time among shepherds in Lesotho and other parts of the wider region.

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Drawing G

Drawing G

In this drawing by Tsepiso Lesenyeho a woman is grinding corn using a mill stone.

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Drawing F

Drawing F

This drawing shows Basotho women doing the Mokhibo dance.

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Drawing E

Drawing of Tsepiso Lesenyeho

In this drawing a man is drinking traditional beer from a clay pot while smoking tobacco and dancing to music.

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Drawing D

Drawing D

This drawing shows two little girls wearing traditional attire, lithethana or fibre skirts.

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Drawing C

Drawing C

This drawing shows men wearing blankets with symbolic designs. These blankets are typical of the Basotho. One of the men is playing of strategy called …

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Thuathe Meteorite

Thuathe Meteorite

A small piece of a meteorite which exploded over the Berea plateau on 21 July 2002. Hundreds of pieces of the meteorite have since been …

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Drawing B

Drawing B

This charcoal drawing illustrates an old tale called ‘The times of the cannibals’. Cannibalism was prevalent during the 1820s as a result of the devastating …

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Drawing A

Drawing A

This charcoal drawing depicts the tale called ‘Lesika la thole’.

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Painting D

Painting D

This painting shows Basotho men performing a traditional dance called “mohobelo” usually performed during joyous celebrations.

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Painting C

Painting C

This painting shows a certain style of Basotho houses (mekhoro). Colourful blankets are drying in the foreground.

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Painting B

Painting B

This painting shows two people wearing Basotho blankets, one of them with a walking stick and a conical hat typical of Lesotho. The woman carries …

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Lerumo Spear

Lerumo Spear

Lerumo – a long spear used as a weapon by warriors. It was a great honour for a warrior to return from battle with his …

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Brass/Copper Bracelet

Brass/Copper Bracelet

A heavy brass/copper bracelet worn by women as a form of decoration. Basotho obtained most of the copper they used through trade with other peoples, …

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Painting A

Painting A

A typical rural scene which is characteristic of many of the pastel paintings by Tsepiso Lesenyeho, a well known artist in Lesotho.

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Lesira Veil

Lesira, a straw veil

Lesira is a veil usually drawn over the face of girl initiates. It is made out of straw with decorative beads. Girl initiates, smeared with …

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Belt

Belt

This belt worn by men is made of leather, possibly oxhide, and decorated with glass beads.

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Koakoa

Koakoa, a weapon

Koakoa (battle axe) is made from iron and wood. It was used by warriors in the battlefield.

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Phalo

Phalo, a skin scraper

This skin scraper is used by men for preparing cow hides.

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Moseme

Moseme, a woven mat

Moseme is a mat woven from grass. Larger mats were often used for sleeping or sitting while smaller mats (like the one in this image) …

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Candlestick

Wooden candlestick

An example of a beautifully carved wooden candlestick.

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Mokeke

Mokeke bowl

Mokeke is a carved wooden bowl with a spoon. It is used by women and girls for serving food.

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Fertility Dolls

Fertility Dolls

These beaded fertility dolls were carried by barren women in the hope that they would bear children. Women treated these dolls as if they were …

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Lesiba

Lesiba

Lesiba is a musical instrument played by shepherds while herding animals. It is made of a tightly stretched sinew and a feather (lesiba) attached to …

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Lebeko

Lebeko

Lebeko is a spatula used for cleaning the nose and removing sweat by men or women. It is made from a variety of materials, in …

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Molamu

Molamu stick

Molamu is a carved wooden walking stick. This particular stick is carved to look like a person on one end and a snake on the …

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Seroto basket

Seroto basket

Seroto is a round grass basket used by women for holding corn or grain. These baskets were made from various types of grass. Small baskets …

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Necklace

Lepetu – Necklace

This heavy copper or brass necklace was worn by both men and women. The largest necklace was usually worn by those of chiefly descent. …

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Necklace

Lepetu 2

This heavy metal necklace could only be removed with great difficulty, and therefore it was worn permanently.

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