Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Cape Coons

This past weekend I was at the Getaway Show. It is South Africa's premier travel and outdoor consumer show and held anually in Johannesburg. As expected the Western Cape also had an exhibit at the show and they brought along a four man Cape Coon (Kaapse Klopse) band to make traditional Cape music. The Cape Coons are as traditional to the Cape as Table Mountain is.

I got the following off Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaapse_Klopse) just to explain what the Cape Coons are:
The Kaapse Klopse (or simply Klopse) is a minstrel festival that takes place annually in Cape Town, South Africa. Up to 13,000 minstrels in whiteface take to the streets garbed in shockingly bright colours, either carrying colourful umbrellas or playing an array of musical instruments. The minstrels are grouped into klopse ("clubs" in Cape Dutch, but more accurately translated as troupes in English). Participants are typically from Afrikaans-speaking working class "coloured" families who have preserved the custom since the mid-19th century.
Although it is called the Coon Carnival by Capetonians, local authorities have renamed the festival the Cape Town Minstrel Carnival, as foreign tourists find the term "coon" derogatory (there is some debate about this). coon carnival is a nation al event that coons get together and meet up and show their love for their country

I haven't had the pleasure to attend the actual festival, which is held annually in the first week of January, but I have heard small groups perform at festivals and events. They were so colourful and vibrant, I couldn't help but to take these guys' picture.


  1. What a colourful shot, looks as though you had a fun time, and your doing a fine job with your new camera, Excellent work.

  2. shame you were hoodwinked. Those imitators are not the real deal. Kaapse Klopse are from the colooured population group . The guys in youe pic look white.

    Cape Town