Cape Town on Foot: From the Slave Lodge to Bo-Kaap
Murals in arched passageway
Walk down the steps into an arched passageway, decorated by the Bo-Kaap Heritage Mural. Stop when you're in the archway and have a look around.
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This work was created by Iranian artist, Nasser Palangi, with a few local artists.
Turn to look at the entrance you just walked through. The two children are looking back at their own cultural heritage. The little boy looks at old photographs of Sheik Yusuf’s kramat; a collection of bridal gowns; a family group on an outing with the men wearing the once traditional conical cane hat, turbans and badjoes. These are coats worn over silk or cotton garments. There is also an image of a tailor at work, a Muslim man wearing a fez, and another family portrait.
The little girl looks at photographs of a shoemaker at work, a Cape cart, musicians, boys studying the Qur’an, a local building, and a group of women wearing head coverings that reflected the style at that time.
Women only wore doeks or scarves after the arrival of Abu Bakr Effendi in the 1860s. This was also when the red or black fez became the preferred head-dress for men. A tussle indicated the fulfilment of a pilgrimage to Mecca.
From the archway you can see what old Cape Town would have looked like towards the end of the 1880s, although it wouldn't have been as colourful! It was a town of flat-roofed homes, either single or double-storeyed.
Now you need to leave the archway and head towards those colourful houses. Cross the street and I will meet you on the other side.