Riel dance open day in Cloetesville, Stellenbosch.

Katriena and the youngest member of her team showing the audience how the Riel must be danced.

The Riel is a form of an age-old dance of the Khoisan people that is being re-introduced to society after dying out during 1950’s-’60. 

Fancy footwork and the hat plays a vital role in inviting the lady to dance.


The !Al-OM Aboriginal Customary Council Stellenbosch WC024, recently held an open day in Cloetesville, Stellenbosch, with the purpose of introducing the Khoi-culture and to establish a group or groups of dancers to be trained in order to revive the Riel especially in Stellenbosch area where there is no known Riel dancing practiced.

Chief Karel King with some of his council members.

Chief Karel King and his counsel from the various Boland areas, invited groups from Paarl to partake in this event. Local community worker, Valerie Fernandez, and the e’Bosch Heritage Project assisted with the organizing of the open day. Locals attending the event were invited to dance with and learn some steps.

The Riel dance groups Bosboktrappers, trained by Katriena Ambraal and Boland Vastrappers, trained by Elsie Vermeulen were leading the dancing at the open day.

Elsie Vermeulen and Katriena Ambraal with their teams

A repeat of this event is planned for the month of September 2019.

Old and young enjoyed the Riel!
Rieldance performance

Dance enthusiast are welcome to contact Chief Karel on 063 226 0294 for further information.

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