Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Basotho and Their Hats

 This is the traditional Basotho hat, the mokhorotlo. It's shaped like a mountain, for which the country is known for.

   The Basotho are hat people. They wear some of the most stylish and quirky hats I've ever seen!
   Case in point, this villager is wearing a wizard-like hat: 
He looked like he just stepped off the set of The Hobbit, right? LOL.
And I saw this dome piece at a craft festival a while back:

This guy was the star of the crowd. People couldn't stop staring at his hat. Neither could I!

Here are other hats worn by the Basotho. They'll sell for the equivalent of $5-$10 US dollars:

The Sesotho word for hat is katiba (kah-tee-bah). Oh, and by the way, I love straw hats.

   It wasn't until I moved to Africa that I really, really appreciated a good hat. 
   I always thought that my head was too big for them, so I rarely bought and wore them in America. Unless it was winter. 

This used to be my favorite hat:

Then I cut the dreds and the hat didn't fit me anymore. It's hanging on the wall in my house.

This is currently my favorite hat:

It's made out of plastic bags by a group of women affected by HIV/AIDS. Two Peace Corps Volunteers are working with the group, Mountains of Hope. Their website is

   In this country, hats are a mainstay on my dome, and the heads of the Basotho! Which hat was your favorite? And are you a hat person, too?


  1. Very interesting hats. How much time goes into making one? I like plain and simple, so I'd probably go with one of the flat hats in picture 4. I'm not a hat person because I really can't wear anything on my head without getting a headache.

    1. Yes, the hats are very interesting and have piqued my curiosity since living here. I'm not sure exactly how long it takes to make one. Many people in my village wear those hats you like.