Cloak; Cape; Motati



Cloak; Cape; Motati




Physical Description: Heart or shield shaped cloak made from the skin of a Hartebeest, with tail at the top. Decorated with circular and star shaped leather applique patches in a lighter coloured hide. Three small tabs project from the near-centre of the cloak, and there are three short braided straps at the top corners. [Royal Pavilion & Museums]
Contextual Description: 00:49:53 [SL translating TN’s answer]To us it would appear nice. It was as nice as this [pointing at image of object]. One look at this and he was like ‘yes!’ exactly like this!’ This is how nice they were...RHH: is that a front apron?
SL: Yeah
RHH: For men?
SL: For women, but also [describes how men would also wear something at the front and back to cover their genitals and the leather thong that goes between their legs] Transcription by KL of MAC_BB_20190817_RPM3 SL Interview with Tshupo Ntono, Village Elder, Language: Setswana with English translations by SL, 2019
Contextual Description: JM 09:49
It says heart or shield shaped cloak

SL 09:53
from animals and it doesn't indicate what it is used for It says is a cloak I guess [akweta?] in that case if that is so but again, it's

SL 10:12
looks like I don't know if it's just for tying it around you're

NS 10:17
I think it's quite large.
SL 10:18
It's large for front if anything it can go. Yeah. If anything it could be...This is some kind of decoration because it's meant to flip back like. now I don't know if it's wrong, if it's a skirt or a cloak like Gase.

we'll do it. We'll do all those...I'm just, it looks...Steatopygia These huge behinds that my sisters have from this area

JM 12:03
Oh right!

SL 12:07
if we put the body here

WT 12:10
that was big enough to cover their thing.

JM 12:13
You don't know if this is a cloak or a back apron?

SL 12:20
It could be define some shape.

NS 12:28
So, across here is one m 60 from here to there is one m 60 from here to here is one m 20 so that's what I'm

gonna do some

GK 12:42
way that's might give guidance to some elderly people because like I used to think we could ....because if you say apron now I'm thinking like something an apron that you cook in

WT 13:00
But these ladies also only have a very small waist and then the other part

SL 13:05
we are recording ??? if you can MOTATI i I remember that as part of our attire women's attire I dont know if its a cloak, but it's something made out of leather, MOTATI

The above notes are from a transcription by Kathleen Lawther of a discussion between Gase Kediseng, JoAnn McGregor, Nicola Stylianou, Scobie Lekhuthile and Winani Thebele which took place at the Khama III Memorial Museum on the 5th of August 2019. To listen to the full recording please follow the link below.


Making African Connections


Pre 1899




Whole: 1240 mm x 1640 mm x 4 mm
Animal skin; Hartebeest; Leather




Collected by Reverend William Charles Willoughby, a Christian missionary, in what was then the Bechuanaland Protectorate (1885-1966). It is now the Republic of Botswana, having gained independence from Britain in 1966.
From 1889-92 Willoughby was pastor at Union Street Church, Brighton (now The Font pub). From 1893 to 1898 he worked for the London Missionary Society in Bechuanaland. He assembled this collection of objects during this period. This was a period of social and technological changes and these objects represent traditional lifestyles and skills, rather than the contemporary lives of the people Willoughby met.

Willoughby's collection was loaned to Brighton Museum in 1899 when he returned to the UK. The loan was converted into a donation in 1936, and accessioned as acquisition R4007.

Some objects were re-numbered with the WA (World Art) numbering system in the 2000s. These numbers have been reverted to the original R4007/... numbers where possible for consistency in 2019.
William Charles Willoughby
Botswana, Southern Africa, Africa


Botswana, Southern Africa, Africa
Cultural Group: Tswana


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