Sunday, March 23, 2014

Lesotho: A country inside a Country

There are three branches in the country of Lesotho.  There is Maseru, Masianokeng, and Leribe.  These are institute students, plus one little girl that wanted to be in the picture.  They are from Maianokeng.  We have been to Maseru once but could not get pictures.  We have not yet gone to Leribe.

A serious picture after a really good institute class   
This picture was just for fun

This is the seminary students from Masianokeng.  Their teacher moved so when we got there Elder Edington got a chance to teach seminary.  He had a great time and was impressed by the wonderful spirit and dedication of the students who have remained faithful even when their substitute teacher did not show up.

On the border between South Africa and Lesotho there are many artisans and tradespeople selling there wares.  This women is making a traditional hat of the Lesotho people.  She is literally sewing the long grasses together to form the hat.  She was fascinating to watch.  They make lots of things out of the tall grasses that are found all over the grasslands.  We saw a large variety of hats.  We saw mats, brooms, baskets and containers made from the grass.

This is a wall hanging that we bought that shows miniaturized replicas  of traditional Lesotho items.  Many of them are still used in their homes today.  The gourd is used to carry water and other liquids.  Then there is a grass broom, mat and hat.  Next you see a pipe and a wooden mixer, and two booms.  The Black Elder, who was explaining to us about the items could not figure out what the last item on the top row represented.  There is also a leather shield and swords below the hat.  The wooded latter looking things on both ends of the second row represent the kind of ladders that you would actually see leaning on most homes in the townships.  There is a yoke for oxen depicted in the middle.  I am not sure why the tin can is on the next row but there are also stuffed leather item, a hut shaped house made of straw showing what their huts look like, a grass container and basket, a sling shot, a traditional ceremonial cape on the bottom left and wrap around skirt on the bottom right with a ring that they use on their heads during the ceremony as well as a drum.

As we drove through the town we saw sheep being sheered right at the edge of the road.  Cattle were being herded across the road at one point and by the time we got to where they had crossed I could not longer see them anywhere.

This building is built in the shape of the traditional Lesotho hats.  We saw many hats that mirrored this shape being sold along side the roads at the boarder crossing.  They make small souvenir size as well as ones that can actually be worn.
This man is wearing the typical attire of a herdsman
 These herdsman  had their sheep  bedded down right at the side of the road.  It was a massive mingling of cars, trucks, taxies, cattle, sheep and people.   Elder Edington and I had to pay very close attention to what was going on around us to avoid meeting someone or something up close and way to personally.  It was quite a strange mass of humanity all sharing the same piece of the world.  A mixture of old and new.
Lesotho is known for selling the most beautiful blankets.  I saw several I really like being worn by the people of Lesotho, but I was unable to go to the part of town where they could be bought.  I have been told that I can not leave my mission without buying at least one Lesotho Blanket.  This is supposedly the only place these blankets are sold.  

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