Thursday Doors – Herman Charles Bosman Living Museum Part 1: Batswana huts and the granary (Sefalana) and Michael update #Southafricanliterature #Batswanaculture #sefalana

Welcome to Thursday Doors, a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments below, anytime between 12:01 am Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time). You can join in here:

During our recent trip to Groot Marico, we visited the Herman Charles Bosman Living Museum. There are a number of interesting things to see at this museum, but this post focuses on the replica Batswana huts and the granary (sefalana).

I managed to purchase a delightful book about the Batswana culture in the region called Sefalana: Granary of Batswana Wisdom from Marico by Lucas Ntismako.

This book provides some interesting information about the importance of the sefalana in a homestead. The blurb runs as follows:

“In the lives of Batswana families the sefalana, a specially built clay granary in a homestead, used to be the mainspring of their survival. It represented an entire season’s toil: preparing the soil, planting, weeding, chasing away flocks of birds and eventually harvesting, threshing and grinding. A bad season could mean disaster and it is not without reason that a Setswana proverb warns that ‘famine hides under the granary’. The sefalana is therefore something to be cherished and respected.”

This is a painting I have that shows women working in the fields (these people are Matabele, now Northern Ndebele, not Batswana but the concept is the same):

These are my pictures of the two traditional Batswana huts on display at the museum:

These are my pictures of the sefalana (granary):

This is my YT video of a short reading from Sefalana: Granary of Batswana Wisdom from the Marico which discusses the importance of the granary.


Michael is doing much better this week. On Tuesday he had the last four stents removed which made him feel a lot better. The doctor was relatively happy with his healing. The left looks great and the right hand side was open although the drainage is narrow and the mucus membranes were swollen and angry on Tuesday. We are now back to steaming, douching, and cortisone three times a day. Michael is also on another antibiotic for a month (the third in 2 months).

Michael wrote a lovely poem. It is a bit dark but that is his writing style:

47 thoughts on “Thursday Doors – Herman Charles Bosman Living Museum Part 1: Batswana huts and the granary (Sefalana) and Michael update #Southafricanliterature #Batswanaculture #sefalana

  1. Your reading voice is excellent, Robbie. I love following your YouTube channel and feeling I’m involved in your adventures. So glad that Michael is feeling better. His poem is excellent and I hope that he continues in his poetry journey.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I’m glad to hear that Michael is doing much better. His poem is very insightful.

    I greatly enjoyed learning about the huts and granary from your reading and photos. I think we in the west take our food supply for granted.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Hi Robbie – thanks for sharing this information about the Botswana huts and granaries. Since I recently read The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency which is set in Botswana, I found your info very interesting! Glad to hear your son is improving. It’s been a long road for him.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. By reading the other comments I now can say I know what–‘YT’ stands for. I think I’m getting slower if that’s possible. I can certainly relate to the–Words firing like bullets out of a gun and the whole of the powerful poem from Michael. Just as long as—there are many battles to continue in many more tomorrow’s

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The Batswana huts and the granary are very interesting. Your description of the work involved throughout the season makes me realize that it’s so much more than plant, wait, harvest.

    Michael’s poem is very good. Given all he’s been through, a little dark in understandable.

    I hope you all have a good week ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. He’s a talented poet! I’m glad the stents are out and hope the antibiotics do their job now. The huts and granary make me realize how lucky we are to live in a country where food is plentiful- for the most part.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The huts and granary are fascinating. I enjoyed listening to you read. Michael’s poem suggests to me that we can change how we argue by toning down the anger and listening with compassion to have fewer regrets afterward. I’m glad he’s feeling somewhat better and hope he continues to heal.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The granaries are quite beautiful, Robbie. Here moisture is a problem, but I imagine the biggest challenge in desert climates would be hungry pests. They look well sealed. And so glad to hear that Michael’s feeling better and making progress. His poem is excellent. I hope he’s caught the writing bug from you and continues to create.

    Liked by 1 person

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