Black Panther is the hugely anticipated super hero Marvel movie of 2018 which is set in the fictional Wakanda, Africa. One of the costume highlights in the film is ofcourse the Traditional Basotho Blanket.
These thick wool blankets which is often worn as cloaks/shawls offer a deep cultural significance and history through the various symbols & bold combinations used.In several scenes, W’Kabi (Daniel Kaluuya) and others are shown wearing Basotho blankets which in the movie, emits force fields.
Award-winning costume designer Ruth E. Carter is the woman behind the costumes and artefacts wowing audiences in Black Panther. She, along with her costume department wanted to incorporate traditional Lesotho designs so the crew travelled to Lesotho and got permission from the Basotho people before moving forward (Zacelebs;2018).
Carter said: “I just wanted to be very careful about how I represented the continent and the culture to make sure that I did not follow any of those rude stereotypes about what Africa was and what Africa wasn’t (SowetanLive;2018).
Other influences such as Kenya’s Maasai tribe and the traditional Zulu bridal hat for the Queen Mother ( played by Angela Bassett), to name just a few, were researched and bought from each country.
“I went to the sources. I had shoppers in South Africa, West Africa, Ethiopia … we put the money back into the hands of the people,” Carter said (SowetanLive;2018).
Another win for Africa !
Click here for the history of the Basotho blanket https://lesotho-blanketwrap.com/2010/lesotho-stories/the-history-of-the-basotho-traditional-blanket/