Lesotho

Culture Name
Mosotho (singular); Basotho (plural)

Origin
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Art
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Music
Traditional musical instruments include lekolulo, a kind of flute used by herding boys, setolo-tolo, played by men using their mouth, and the woman’s stringed thomo.

The national anthem of Lesotho is “Lesotho Fatše La Bo-ntata Rona“, which literally translates into “Lesotho, Land of Our Fore-Fathers”.

Fashion
Traditional attire revolves around the Basotho blanket, a thick covering made primarily of wool. The blankets are ubiquitous throughout the country during all seasons, and worn differently for men and women.

Food
A three-stone fireplace in the courtyard is the focal point of the Basotho women’s daily activity. Here they prepare the pot of cornmeal porridge ( pap-pap ) which is the staple of the Basotho. Usually a sauce of peas, chopped greens, or other vegetables accompanies the thick porridge, and on special occasions a chicken is added to the pot. During the summer season, local peaches, and small, hard fruits add variety to the diet. In the winter, family members sit around the three-stone fireplace and roast ears of dried corn.

A local beer ( joale ) is brewed in a large vat placed on the three-stone fireplace. This beer is the center of informal neighborhood gatherings and provides a small income for the family. Milk is often served as a soured drink.

Language
Sesotho, or Southern Sotho, is spoken in Lesotho as well as in parts of South Africa. Sesotho was one of the first African languages to develop a written form and it has an extensive literature. English is the second official language, dating back to 1868 when Lesotho was placed under the British for protection against South African aggression. Zulu and Xhosa are spoken by a small minority.

Literature
Sotho literature is dominated by folktales and praise poems. Early in the 1900s a Masotho named Thomas Mofolo wrote the famous and widely read novel Chaka .

Architecture
The traditional style of housing in Lesotho is called a mokhoro. Many older houses, especially in smaller towns and villages, are of this type, with walls usually constructed from large stones cemented together. Baked mud bricks and especially concrete blocks are also used nowadays, with thatched roofs still common, although often replaced by corrugated roofing sheets.

Sports
Sporting activities are extremely popular. Football (soccer) is the most widely played sport in Lesotho, and many of the country’s best players play professionally in South Africa. Judo, boxing, and long-distance running are also popular, the first two benefiting from training facilities provided by the police force. Horse racing is important to rural social life.

Holidays
The two days which all of Lesotho celebrates are Moshoeshoe’s Day (12 March) and Independence Day (4 October). Moshoeshoe’s Day is for the nation’s school children, who prepare throughout the year for choir and sports competitions. Independence Day is a time for formal state ceremonies, speeches, and traditional dance group performances.

Work Cited:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_Lesotho#Culture

http://www.everyculture.com/Ja-Ma/Lesotho.html

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/337126/Lesotho/273768/Housing#toc43934

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