|Dragonfly Project Fund|
With these concerns in mind, Dragonfly believes it is important to record the disappearing traditions of the descendants of the Khoisan, the indigenous peoples of the Western Cape region in South Africa. 350 years ago the Dutch East India Company set up a supply post for their ships carrying tea, spices, porcelain and silks from the Far East to Europe. Since then, Khoisan culture, languages and religion have all but disappeared.
The Dragonfly Project covers the mountainous areas in which Rooibos is grown and stretches deep into the Namaqualand Desert, where remoteness has helped to preserve what remains of a rich tradition - snatches of music, dance, song and stories.
Our exciting and rewarding project aims to use this body of material to restore dignity and pride in the Khoisan culture, and perhaps at the same time succeed in providing them with a potential income resource. Together with the Contemporary African Music and Arts Archive (CAMA) at the University of Cape Town, the Dragonfly Project Fund has documented a wide variety of cultural expressions. Click to see a clip of some of the music and dance of the few remaining descendants of the Khoi and Koranna speaking peoples of the Cedarberg area.
Passing on skills to the next generations is also key and efforts have brought wonderful results. Click to see a clip.
Events, as well as spontaneous entertainments, are key. The "Singkop" is a major event where residents of the outlying mission stations around Wupperthal climb the mountain at midnight to "sing in the Christmas". Click to see a clip.
In the words of John Turest-Swartzthe, the Director of CAMA, "We at CAMA feel privileged to be able to play a role in assisting these communities who are in most desperate need."
And as you can see from the clips, everyone has a great deal of fun at the same time.