Famed for its other moniker – the Selibeng Sa Thut – Morija is something like Lesotho’s answer to England’s Cambridge or the US’s Massachusetts.
Long a center for learning, it’s considered the go-to place to unraveling the mysteries and histories of the Basotho culture and past.
The main institution has to be the acclaimed Morija Museum and Archives, which contains fascinating relics that detail episodes of the Gun Wars, the Boer War, and English colonialism in these parts.
The town is also the host of annual art and culture event, which brings traditional dance, live music, and performances to the streets.
All you need to know about Morija town museum Lesotho
At the heart of Morija Museum & Archives (MMA) are its valuable archival and museum collections, which have been growing incrementally since the 19th century. These collections form the basis for research and publishing, as well as exhibitions and educational programs for schools, visitors, and tourists.
MMA is open to the public from 08h 00 to 17h 00 daily Monday – Saturday and on Sundays from 12h00 to 17h00. It is closed on Easter Sunday, as well as Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Morija Museum was formally established in 1956 based upon the Dieterlen family’s ethnographic and historical collections together with paleontological and geological collections from the Ellenbergers. These two collections provided the main pillars of the present-day Museum collections which have been growing incrementally over the past 50 years. In 2005, for example, a collection of more modern material culture including hundreds of beaded items was bequeathed to the museum by Chris Van Nispen.
Other MMA initiatives have made a great impact in the arts and culture, the most notable being the Maeder House Art Gallery, the embryonic Morija Arts Centre, the annual Morija Arts & Cultural Festival, and the nation-wide School Cultural Competitions.
The Museum has helped to develop and encourage a wider range of tourism services and products in the greater Morija area, including the Museum Tea Room, Picnic Area, and Amphitheatre for larger events; tours of historic Morija and dinosaur footprints, walking trails, bird-watching, and pony-trekking; as well as guest houses, conference center, home-stays, village experiences, cultural activities, catering services, and art/craft production.
MMA is also involved in heritage and community-based tourism initiatives at Masitise Cave House Museum in the far south of Lesotho, Maphutseng, and other sites.