Samuel Makoanyane was born in 1909, Parys, Orange Free State. For most of his life Makoanyane lived in the village of Koalabata, in the Teyateyaneng district near Maseru. His early clay animals and figures were made with the aid of book illustrations. He later began modelling from life and was encouraged by C. G. Damant, who discovered Makoanyane's work in 1931, to depict Basuto (Sotho) people rather than the missionaries that he originally modelled. At one point Makoanyane used materials such as wood, feathers and skins to fashion accessories in which he dressed his figures. He produced large numbers of similar objects, many of which were marketed through curio shops in Basutoland (Lesotho) and South Africa. His works were a great commercial success and were apparently exhibited in the USA and Paris and exported to Europe and the UK. He did on 24 October 1944 in Koalabata, near Maseru, Lesotho.


1936: Johannesburg (Empire Exhibition).

1938: Grahamstown (Bantu Arts and Crafts Exhibition).


1935: Eight Basuto (Sotho) musicians with their instruments for Professor Kirby of the University of the Witwatersrand (seven completed).


AFRICANA; Duggan-Cronin Gallery, Kimberley; KC; William Fehr Collection, Cape Town.


Sack, S. (1988). The Neglected Tradition, Johannesburg: Johannesburg Art Gallery.

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