As a nation that boasts about its rich culture, the Basotho can trace their origins to the pre-historic age. The Basotho, also known as Sotho speakers, are said to have originated from the north of Southern Africa. The Basotho made their way down as various tribes settled in different parts of the country. Some groups settled in the west, while others settled in the east and further south. Today these diverse groups are respectively known as the Batswana, BaPedi and Basotho tribes.
The origin of the Basotho blanket goes back over a century. In 1860, King Moshoeshoe I, the founder of Lesotho, was given a wool blanket as a gift. The King loved the blanket so much, he abandoned his traditional leopard-skin kaross in favour of the blanket.
The Basotho people soon followed suit and to this day the blanket is an inherent part of their lives and culture. You will see blankets of varying colours and patterns at all important life events, from marriage to childbirth to the coronation of kings.
Versions of the Basotho tribal blanket, or ‘Seanamarena’ in Sesotho, are also worn in every day life by herd boys, grannies and even children to keep warm. Lesotho is the only nation south of the Sahara that identifies the culture of an entire country through a nationalistic article of clothing like the Basotho blanket.
Many people in Lesotho live in farming and animal husbandry based communities and therefore wear clothing that is suitable for this lifestyle. For example, herd boys wear large rain boots, referred to as gum boots, to wade through the muddy mountain terrain with their animals.
Most herd boys also wear woolen caps or balaclavas year-round to protect their faces from cold temperatures and dust blown around by the strong mountain winds.
According to helplesotho.org; southafrica.net and en.wikipedia