Painted houses in Cape Town’s Bo Kaap quarter

Painted houses in Cape Town's Bo Kaap, from Mooi Kiekies on Flickr

Wow. It might be difficult to pull off these colours in the watery light spectrum we have here in Vancouver. But frankly Vancouver ought to be able to do a lot better than the local Victorian colour scheme of dark maroon with sickly, pale butter-yellow trim. If we can’t do Bo Kaap, then at least San Francisco or Valparaiso. Post card by Mervyn Hector, 2008. See below for an interesting history of the quarter by Mooi Kiekies on Flickr:

“The “Bo-Kaap” (or “Cape Malay Quarter” as it was also known) is culturally and historically one of the most interesting parts of Cape Town. Many of the inhabitants are decendants of people from Indonesia (Batavia), Sri Lanka (Ceylon), India and Malaysia amongst others, who, were captured in the 17th and 18th century and enslaved by the Dutch East India Company (VOC). (An estimated 63000 slaves were imported between the mid 17th century and 19th century which included people from Zanzibar, Madagascar, Angola and Mocambique). The Cape Malays, their religious leaders, and other slaves played an important role in the development of the language and culture of the then Cape Colony. The Afrikaans language evolved as a language of its own through a simplication of Dutch which enabled all slaves to communicate with the Dutch and each other, since they all came from different countries and cultures. The Cape Malays have preserved much of their cultural and muslim identity to this day. The restored and colourfully painted houses’s architectural style is a synthesis of Cape Dutch and Edwardian. Depicted above is a part of Chiappinni Street which means a lot to me as my Father was born here in 1907. I have walked this street on a few occasions wondering what life must have been like here for him; as a child and a young man, before moving from the area to marry my Mother in 1930.”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

3 Responses to “Painted houses in Cape Town’s Bo Kaap quarter”

  1. Eva Says:

    This is really wonderful. Such colours should be used, wherever people have to live in a dull, grey environment. How does it affect the life style? Does it encourage people to improve their situation? Or vice versa? I might be worth a research how colour influences humans in their well-being.

  2. Warren Says:

    Great photo. There is a story, an urban legend, that says the bright colours came from the years when these folks could not read or write. They were then able to say that they live in the green house or the red house and so on.
    Have a great 2009

  3. Painted houses | Ouno Design Says:

    […] and door painting. If we can’t have these innovations, maybe we could at least have more colour. House in Indiana, above, by i am krisan on Flickr.   Vancouver house of the painter BC Binning, […]

Leave a Reply