South Africa has a rich culture with many different ethnic groups. Each group has their own customs, festivals, local clothing, traditional music instruments and traditional dances. One of South Africa’s well-known traditional dances is the Gumboot dance. Usually only men are allowed to perform the Gumboot dance. Why is it called the Gumboot dance? Because it must be performed using boots, sometimes with bells on the boots. This dance is actually an adaptation from a way of communication that miners use. This dance has been around since the 20th century, and is the culture of the miners in South Africa.
If you visit South Africa, you can watch this on roadsides and in plazas, such as the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town. Another traditional dance is the Volkspele. It is similar to the European community dance, but the dancer’s costumes are brightly colored.
Besides having traditional dance, South Africa also has traditional clothing, including the Madiba. The Madiba is the shirt Nelson Mandela wore when he was first sworn in as president in 1994. Madiba is similar to Indonesian batik. Madiba was designed by a young fashion designer named Desré Buirski, who actually designed for Mandela. The Madiba shirt became very popular in South Africa because of Mandela.
Another traditional outfit in South Africa is Xhosa. Xhosa is is a colorfully-patterned cloth women wrap around their bodies. Xhosa itself is actually the name of a tribe located on the Eastern Cape. The cloth is usually worn with accessories such as turbans, necklaces, bracelets and earrings. However, due to the development of fashion in South Africa, this outfit has been modified into a robe, shirt and skirt, and Xhosa is also widely worn by men. The Xhosa that is worn by men is called Umbhaco. Umbhaco is also widely used as formal wear in South Africa. So take a trip to South Africa and experience these dances and clothes!
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