Sat, Jan 11, 2020 - Page 14 News List

The Cape Town Minstrels Parade
開普頓吟遊詩人嘉年華會 盛大登場

A minstrel troupe marches through the city center during the Cape Town Minstrels Parade on Jan. 4 in Cape Town, South Africa.

Photo: AFP

The Cape Town Minstrels Parade sees more than 45 troupes, consisting of 25,000 to 30,000 performers, marching through the center of Cape Town dressed in bright colored costumes, playing music and dancing. The “Tweede Nuwe Jaar” celebration dates back to the time before slavery was abolished in the Cape Colony, during which slaves were allowed to relax on the day following New Year’s Day.

After emancipation, freed slaves formed dance bands, at first playing mainly European music, but later developing Creole repertoires.

Their New Year celebrations were significantly influenced by American minstrel troupes, initially comprised of white performers in “blackface” impersonating African-American slaves. These performers would wear eccentric clothing with colorful tailcoats, emulating society’s upper class.

The Minstrel Carnival, then, is a reminder of Cape Town’s slavery past, but also of the role of dance and music as a celebration of freedom.

Modern-day troupes aim at creating social cohesion, youth activities and a connection to culture in the mostly impoverished and crime-ridden communities in which the members live.

(AFP with staff writer)







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