Thabang and family outside their home in Ha Motenalapi in the Senqunyane valley, Lesotho, 2000
Thabang and family outside their home in Ha Motenalapi in the Senqunyane valley, Lesotho. We were camped in tents nearby on an archaeological expedition and they invited us to sleep in this hut for three nights even though this meant the whole family slept in a smaller hut out of frame. They are wearing their Basotho tribal blankets. The door and window mouldings demonstrate Litema, the mural art of the Basotho. The hut floor and window mouldings are made from Daga, a mix of earth and dung. The high ammonia content of the dung acts as an antiseptic. The patterns engraved around the doorways may represent the surrounding furrowed fields.
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Ha Mokati Rock Art Site, Lesotho featured in the Sunday Times Magazine and the book Drawing Parallels. Photo: Quintin Lake
Suggested interpretation. Note that the reconstruction has been done with reference to Images of Power and other seminal works but remains tentative – above all the top left figure.
Lesotho Rock Art Survey 2000 is a Royal Geographical Society Sponsored expedition which discovered 10 previously unrecorded rock art sites in the remote Lesobeng Valley in Lesotho.
Ha Mokati is one of these sites and was featured in the Sunday Times Magazine April 15, 2001 under the heading “Eyeopener: Vanishing Dreams”.
Photography & Illustration © Quintin Lake, 2000
Lesotho Rock Art Survey 2000: Expedition Report by Simon Aitken & Quintin Lake
Download the full expedition report as a PDF here
A printed copy of the report is also available to view at: the Department of Archaeology, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, the Cambridge University Expedition Society and the Royal Geographical Society
Text & Photography © Quintin Lake, 2000