Photos of Western Lesotho

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Western Lesotho

Mafeteng is the Camptown of Mafeteng district in the west of Lesotho, about 76 kilometres south of Maseru and has a population of around 61,000. The town is said to be named after an early visitor, Emile Roland, who was nicknamed “Lefeta,” literally meaning “traveller” or “passer-by.” Mafeteng translates to English as “The place of the passers-by”.

Herding cattle
House in Mafeteng
Dancing the Mohobelo
Mohobelo dance
Boys of Ha Molomo
Dance in Mohale’s Hoek
Women of Molomo's Hoek
View at Masala's
Blankets in Raleqheka
Raleqheka village
Morning in Raleqheka
Fetching water
Milking a cow
Preparing breakfast
Raleqheka courtyard
Playing the Lesiba
Village of Matsieng
Church women
Beating a drum
Singing in church
 Jerusalem Apostolic Church
MaphutŌseng valley

Further south is Mohale’s Hoek, the Camptown of the district with the same name with approximately 20,000 inhabitants. In 1795, San (Bushmen) still inhabited the area when the Baphuti, one of the Sotho speaking clans, occupied the site. After 1824 the area was inhabited by Mohale, the younger brother of the great chief Moshoeshoe, and the place took his name (with the Afrikaans “Hoek”, meaning “corner”).

To the east of Mafeteng, in Maseru District, is the village of Raleqheka, one of many quiet traditional villages; further north is Matsieng, the village of King Letsie III and his father, the late King Moshoeshoe II.

Herders play a traditional musical instrument called the “lesiba”, a stringed and wind instrument consisting of a string and feather on which the musician blows, using his mouth as a sound box, like a jew’s harp. Boys also may practice the “Mohobelo”, a men’s stomping dance that consists of synchronised movements and high kicks. And vigorous drumming and singing may be heard from the “Zionist” churches, blending Christianity and traditional African practices.