What is the purpose of the gumboots dance?

What is the purpose of the gumboots dance?

Clad in gumboots to protect their feet from the fetid water, the miners created a tapping code to communicate with one another. Above ground, these taps and smacks developed into elaborate dances that were performed during leisure time.

When did the gumboot dance originated?

Aug. 18, 2017 11:30 a.m.

Where does the term gumboots come from?

Originally only called Wellingtons, the nickname “gumboots” comes from the natural rubber – or “gum rubber” – that rain boots are made from.

What clothes do gumboot dancers wear?

The gumboot dance (or Isicathulo) is a South African dance that is performed by dancers wearing wellington boots. In South Africa these are more commonly called gumboots. The boots may be embellished with bells, so that they ring as the dancers stamp on the ground.

Why was gumboot dance originated?

Gumboot dancing was born in the gold mines of South Africa at the height of the migrant labour system and during the oppressive Apartheid Pass Laws. This created the miners uniform, consisting of heavy black Wellington boots, jeans, bare chest and bandannas to absorb eye-stinging sweat.

What is boot dancing?

Boot Dance is an Aggie tradition that has come and gone throughout the years. Once a celebration for the entire student body, Boot Dance has transformed into an event for rising seniors in the Corps of Cadets which celebrates the first day the Cadets have the privilege of wearing their senior boots.

What is Kwela Kwela dance?

Kwela is a South African style of music based on jazzy undertones and the penny-whistle instrument. It derived from the marabi sound and brought the distinctive African jazz sound to prominence in the 1950’s. The music would predominantly be played at shebeens where people would gather to drink, dance and socialise.

Why did the gumboot dance become so popular?

As the dance became popular, the employers took the dancers and formed troupes to represent their company. They had the troupes perform to visitors and spread the good word about their company, but most of the performances were done in the workers own language.

Why did the mine bosses ban gumboot dancing?

Initially, the mine bosses banned the dances. But soon the mine bosses began to see the activity as positive. Competitions, gumboot dance troupes and shows all became part of the social life at the mines.

How did the workers express themselves in the gumboots?

The workers began to express themselves by making rhythms and beats with their bodies, gumboots, and chains. They made the noises by slapping their boots (like the picture on the right), stomping their feet, and rattling their shackles.

What kind of dance is used in South Africa?

This dance today is used to show the history of South Africa and as any form of dance, this style has been adapted to many new modern forms of dancing (South African: Gumboot Dance). Today gumboot is popular and has morphed into a different form of dance that is more modern called stepping.

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