Saturday, August 30, 2014

Traditional Basotho Blankets: Kobos

The Basotho are known for their beautiful blankets. They're super heavy but keep you warm!

   Last year, students at my school performed at a cultural day ceremony in a nearby village.
The air was a little crisp so I wore my seshoeshoe, the traditional dress of Lesotho, and a long, black coat that I hoped would keep me warm.
   Every Masotho in attendance wore a traditional Basotho blanket called a kobo. They were warm and comfy.
   But guess whose little ass froze to death without a kobo? Me.
   The Basotho know the importance of the kobo (koo-boh) because they are known for their colorful, wool blankets. And the blankets are needed here, as winter temperatures can get to below freezing
   The kobo has been a part of the dress here since 1900.
   And it's even becoming quite the fashion accessory in some circles in the southern African region, according to this recent Wall Street Journal article.
   Here are more tidbits about the kobo:

-Women wear kobos, or even regular blankets, around their hips because it is said that the blankets keep their ovaries warm.

-Different color kobos represent different districts (the equivalent of American states). A person wearing a yellow and black kobo will likely be representing the district I live in, Mafeteng.

-Basotho wear kobos, even in the summertime, because they’re just so used to wearing them year-round.

-The kobos cost about $50 USD. They are worth every penny, especially in the wintertime.

   So basically, kobos keep your ass warm. And when the air is a little crisp, you better not be caught without one!


  1. I would love one of those. I wonder if I can order online from the region. Do you know?

    1. Hey Janice. One of the major companies that makes these blankets is Aranda in South Africa. Their web site is: Let me know which one you buy. I'm hoping to get one during my farewell ceremony in November.