Few travelers or passers-by ever stop in Zoar or Amalienstein. Apart from the occasional tourist, those who do manage to turn off Route 62 either have family here or are collecting workers to help with the harvest or on a building project elsewhere. After all, there seems to be little here to see, or do or eat. Even the Wikipedia entries for the towns consist of only 3 short sentences.
But people do live here. And have done so for hundreds of years. Before the blacks came from the north and the colonist from the south and definitely before the hip-hop culture came wirelessly on radio and TV and mobile phones. Before all of that, the people who lived here had their own way of living, of doing things, of coping with life and death and the unfolding of seasons.
Much of this is lost now. Some glimmers of a history, a shared culture and a way of life remains in the stories that are told by those who can remember. Those who have lived or seen or were told what life was like 50 or 100 or even 200 years ago. But time is running out. Those who do remember are slowly dying. Taking with them what remains of what is known about the past.
In Zoar and Amalienstein elders from the Attequa tribe of Zoar (Zoar Aboriginal Tribal Council) are now trying to preserve and share what little is left with the Kannaland Storytelling Initiative. Offered in conjunction with local tourism partners, the leadership of the Attequa tribe are trying to recapture, share and showcase the social and cultural history as remembered by everyday local people.
First started in January 2015, sessions are informal and off-the-cuff and the best way to meet the people who live in this beautiful part of South Africa. It is also the only way to find out from those who can remember how things were and how they came into being. The story continues with a new session scheduled for 1 March 2015. Seweweekspoort, its history, myths and many stories will be explored.
Without a story to tell or a history to share, Zoar and Amalienstein will remain what it is today: a 3 sentence entry on Wikipedia visited occasionally by die-hard tourist on their way to somewhere else. You can be part of changing this story. Join the session on 1 March 2015 to help remember and preserve this history.
Details for the next session can be found below.
DATE & TIMESunday, 1 March 2015
15:00 to 17:00
1407 Route 62
In Zoar, just of Route 62. Look out for the Alicatt Tours signs or ask if you get lost.
COSTR30 – Includes Cake & Tea.