Gold miners in South Africa worked in darkness for 3 months at a time.

They were chained to their work stations and were not allowed to talk to each other.

They stood up to their knees in infected water. They got skin diseases and ulcers. Sometimes they were too sick to work. The bosses found out that it was cheaper to give them Gumboots than to clean the mines.

The miners used the Gumboots as a way of talking to each other secretly. They would slap their boots, stamp their feet and rattle their chains.

During their free time, the miners would sing and dance and drink together and remember their families a thousand miles away. The tradition of Gumboot dancing was born.

Wait for the image to load and then click on the arrow to see these people dance the story of South African Miners.

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Last modified: Tuesday, 26 July 2011, 5:04 PM