Friends of Morija to host Royal Villages tour

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Mohalenyane Phakela

THE Friends of Morija Museum & Archives, in collaboration with the Royal Archives and Museum, will host a historic tour of the Royal Villages of Lesotho in Morija and Matsieng on 1 February.

Founded in 1990, the Friends of Morija Museum & Archives seeks to promote a greater appreciation of Lesotho’s history, culture, art and science through a variety of activities and events.

The excursion, which Morija Museum curator Stephen Gill said would be the first of many, will start at noon at Pitso Ground in Morija.

“Everyone knows of Morena Moshoeshoe I and his nation-building exploits centred on Thaba-Bosiu since his departure from Menkhoaneng,” said Gill.

“But then, many are not well acquainted with the various locations used by his eldest son Letsie and his descendants from as early as 1834 until today.

“They are located within eight kilometres of one another in the greater Morija-Matsieng area in Morija, Phahameng, Makeneng, Old Matsieng and New Matsieng.”

He said the purpose of the excursion was to highlight the various settlements connected with Lesotho’s kings and paramount chiefs while also explaining their history and significance.

According to Gill, the event would also be used to put in place a roadmap for managing the sites.

“We will also explore ways of taking care of the sites more effectively in terms of mapping, documentation, preservation and restoration, as well as presenting and promoting them for educational and tourism purposes,” he said.

Since the excursion will be an outdoor event that involves walking, Gill urged attendees to wear comfortable shoes and clothing, pack lunch, lots of liquids, “as well as inquisitive spirit”.

He added that they would also be expected to respect the privacy of the Royal Family at Matsieng, but would be free to take notes, photographs and videos.

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