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The Nama Stap Dance; an analysis of continuity and change among Nama Women

Johnson-Jones, E (2011) The Nama Stap Dance; an analysis of continuity and change among Nama Women South African Dance Journal, 1 (1), 7. pp. 80-92.

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This article expands the field research carried out over a five year period (2001-2006) among the Nama people who live in !Khubus, South Africa. The Nama may be identified with a sequence of movement that is widely recognised throughout southern Africa as the Nama Stap (Step); the Nama Stap in turn is the major movement motif of the Nama Stap Dance; this movement motif is also the foundation of the Nama Stap Dance-Female Puberty Version. Despite overt colonial influences within these dances today, the Nama have declared these performance artefacts to be symbols of Nama identity. These dances, I will suggest, contrast with more classical Nama identifiers, such as the matjieshuis (mat house) and the Nama language itself. Further, this article attempts to provide an appreciation of the Nama, especially Nama women, through an analysis and interpretation of the Nama Stap motif as it is danced within the Nama Stap Dance-Puberty Version. Through an integration of selected research methodologies, especially Laban analysis, dance analysis, and field research, an interpretation of the dance is suggested that reveals traditional and contemporary, colonial and post-colonial markings.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Guildford School of Acting
Authors :
Johnson-Jones, E
Date : 16 June 2011
Uncontrolled Keywords : Nama Stap, Labanotation, Laban Movement Analysis, Labananalysis, African Dance, South African Dance, Movement Notation, Namaqualand, Khoekhoen, Khoisan, Reed Flute Dances
Related URLs :
Additional Information : This is an electronic version of an artcile published as Johnson-Jones E (2011). The Nama Stap Dance; an analysis of continuity and change among Nama Women. South African Dance Journal 1(1):80-92 Article number 7. Available online at:
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 30 May 2012 09:49
Last Modified : 05 Mar 2019 10:38

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