Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bo Kaap Bargee

I completed this painting today...... 'Bo Kaap Bargee ' (Cape Malay Sailor). This gentleman was just a site walking around with his 'gummy' smile in the streets of Cape Town.

I was fascinate with his facial features. The Cape Coloureds of the Western Cape have their front teeth surgically removed, and the real reason has long been forgotten. Coloured people have been doing it so long that they forgot the real reason why thay do it. "You know when you do something that your parents and your grandparents where doing and you ask why are you doing it, they answer, I don't know, because my brothers did it! " Was a quote from a Coloured Man! Some say its a sexual myth or fashion victomhood! It portrays their identity and is called the 'Passion Gap' or Cape Flats Smile'. I certainly don't think it's attractive at all!

The "Bo Kaap" or "Cape Malay Quarter" belongs to the culturally and historically most interesting parts of Cape Town. Many of the inhabitants are decendants of the people from Indonesia (Batavia), Sri Lanka, India and Malaysia, who were captured in the 17th and 18th century and enslaved by the Dutch-East Indian Trading Company. Many were Mulims and others were converted to Islam by the Cape Muslim community.
The Cape Malays and their religious leaders played an important role in the development of the language and culture of the Cape colony. The Afrikaans language evolved as a language of its own through a simplification of Dutch in order for the slaves to be able to communicate with the Dutch and amongst each others, since they all came from different countries and cultures. Educated Muslims were the first to write texts in Afrikaans.~

Hope you enjoyed this little bit of fascinating information and the reason I find them an interesting race!



Carol Blackburn said...

Awesome painting, Debbie. Very interesting commentary also.

martinealison said...

Hi Debbie,
Je suis très heureuse de vous lire et d'admirer une nouvelle de vos oeuvres.
Vous avez peint avec beaucoup de précision ce portrait au regard puissant et pénétrant. La qualité de vos aquarelles me subjugue... tant par la base du dessin que par leur légèreté et leur fraîcheur.
J'ai bien évidemment apprécié le récit qui accompagne ce joli travail. J'ignorais que leurs dents avaient été volontairement extraites... De quoi faire bondir nos dentistes européens et ruiner ceux qui préconisent les implants!
Gros bisous.

Pat said...

Stunning portrait, Debbie - just stunning!

and thanks for the history, it was fascinating. How peculiar about the teeth.. but would be a colourless world if we were all the same!

Sandra said...

What a fantastic portrait - I think the beard is amazingly well painted and I love the colours in his skin.
I'm with you on the whole 'teeth removal' thing. Not attractive at all, lol! Still, maybe they think the same about our toothful grins :0)

VP Miller said...

Love the portrait!... Amazing to hear of the Cape Flats Smile! My dentist will be keen to hear that... :-) Glad you are back.

Ann Buckner said...

What a wonderful painting and the background of the people was very interesting.

Diana said...

Wonderful painting. you really captured him!! Diana

Sadami said...

Dear Debbie,
The painting is lovely. Fasinating post implies one case how culture/social norms/custom is born and passed onto. But, just a thought, if so, when someone will make rebelion against the norms would interest researchers.
Kind regards, Sadami

Judy said...

Wonderful portrait! And interesting history!
My great great great grandmother was from Cape Town and went to the Dutch Indies and married a Dutchman. Interesting to read about these people, I didn't know.

Crystal Cook said...

Wonderful work Debbie!! And I found that little bit of information pretty fascinating. But now I'm SO curious about why exactly they do that to their teeth? :)

Art with Liz said...

You've caught this guy beautifully. Aren't they wonderful characters - great sense of humour!

Debbie said...

Thank you Carol.

Martine, it is a funny ritual I agree! Thank you for your comments.

Ann, they are very colourful!

Thank you Diana!

Sadami, The ever fascinating fickle, customs and rituals of some cultures are interesting to me. Thank you!

Judy, I have been here my whole life and only discovered it about 20 years ago and still don't understand it!

Crystal.... something their grandparents did I suppose! haha! wish I knew too!

Ney merem, jay's baai welkom! If you catch my drift Liz. The accent just cracks me up!

Thank you all for adding your positive comments! Appreciated!

Melissa Fischer said...

Excellent painting, Debbie! The textures and colors are eye-catching, with really nice variation and contrast. I especially like the beard.

hmuxo said...

interesting blog and beautiful painting.

Mari Jose Molina said...

Maravilloso retrato! me encanta! he encontrado tu blog gracias a Crystal cook y me ha parecido muy bueno, te visitaré a menudo, un saludo!!