Tag Archives: African

Morse Code Mine Dancing: A Language Born in the Darkness

Morse Code Mine Dancing: A Language Born in the Darkness

Born in the darkness of South African gold mines during Apartheid, “gumboot dancing” sprung from the basic need for exploited miners to communicate in what was a harrowing environment, where they were forbidden to even speak to one another. Workers decided to let their boots do the talking for them, and developed a kind of “morse code” from the noises made by the stomping of their rubber “Gumboots” or “Wellingtons.”  What became their form of communication in the underground took “body language” to whole new level and inspired an entirely new form of dance…

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