Voortrekker Eeufees

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This refers to the 1938 celebrations to commemorate the centenary of Great Trek of 1838. In this time numerous plays, pageants and other events were put on all over South Africa, including at the site of what was to become the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria. A central "performance" in the whole process was a symbolic re-enactment of the trek by * wagons, inspired by Henning Klopper, founder of the Afrikaner Broederbond (the later powerful secret society of nationalists) and backed up by organisations such as the Afrikaanse Taal- en Kultuurvereniging (ATKV), the Federasie van Afrikaanse Kultuurvereniginge (FAK). Individual "treks" left from various towns, with the main trek departing from Cape Town's Adderley street on 8th August, and along the way they were met and welcomed by the various municipalities and numerous people joined them and travelled along. Finally they all met in Pretoria on the site of the Voortrekker Monument on 16th December, 1938. The festi val as a whole became a strong rallying point for what came to be called Afrikaner Nationalism and the sentiments that came to the fore - helped by the inveitable reaction to the war-time governments across the world - in some way contributed to the Nationalist party's later success in the 1948 elections. The cultural products produced were many, particularly in Afrikaans, and include numerous new theatrical works as well as the whole Volkspele ("volk dance") movement which had started earlier, but was really established in this period. A number of cultural societies and organisations also originated in this period. ****

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