South African Families

Figure 1.--.

We have begun to collect information on South African families. This is an important section of HBC. Family portraits provide a wealth of interesting fashion and sociological information. The family images help to put the boys' clothing in other pages in context. We see what the girls and parents were wearing at the same time. At this times we have archived information on just a few South African families, but we are working on the section. South Africa is a very diverse country. We hope to eventually archived a wide range of families from different time periods and different ethnic and social class families.

Van Plesten Family (about 1912)

We note three siblings of the Van Plesten family about 1912. In the center the elder sister, Helena Susare; in the right side Frederika Petronella Magdalene, known with the nickname of Frikkie, and in the left side Carl Johannes. We know that Helena was born in 1904 and Frikkie in 1905. We have no more information about Carl Johannes. This seems a studio portrait. We can see that the boy have long hair. He is also the only barefoot in the photo, perhaps because he is the younger or, more probably, because he is a boy.

Van Der Wal Family family (1916)

We note members of the Afrikanner Van Der Wal family, probably a grandmother with three grandchildren. We do not have any inbformation on the family. We suspect tghat they were likely a farm family. An African boy associated with the family is included in the portrait. We are not sure about the relationship of the black boy go the family. Notice that he us dressed differently. He might be the son of workers on the family farm. Or something may have happened to his parents. Perhaps out South African readers can provide some insights on this. He looks like he may be of mixed parentage. In the developing South African Apatheid system, there was a separate category for people of mixed white-colored ancestry--Coloreds. This photo was taken in Lydenburg, a town in Mpumalanga on April 8, 1916.

Sandland Family (1962)

Here we see a snapshot of two Canadian siblings with a neighbour, David Kennard,. The Sandlands were a Canidian family. They lived 2 years in South Africa during the late-1950s and early-60s. The photograph was taken their backyard during May 1962. The older boy, David, holds a snake that was captured and killed in the backyard. I am not sure about what kind it was, but I don't think I would be walking around barefoot with snakes like that about. The children, however, are all barefoot. David wears a long-sleeve white shirt, probably his school shirt. The younger boy is probably too young for school. Both boys wear short pants. The girl looks to be wearing her school uniform.

Liverpool Family (late-1970s)

Here we see an English family of Liverpool in the United Kingdom that lived in South Africa between (1976-79). They lived in Sun Valley, about 50 km south of Cape Town. We notice a family trip to Lesotho and at home with friends. These English children adapted their clothing to the South African custom. They went barefoot even where local children wore shoes.

Botha Family (Late-1980s)

Here we have a South African family photo taken in late-1980s in Dundee. The town is situated in a valley of the Biggarsberg Mountains in KwaZulu-Natal. The two boys are Sarel and Henning Botha. In the photo they are depicted with the father, the grandparents and two other relatives. The mother was taking the photo. By the clothing, we can assume that it was not summertime although it was not very cold weather. Anyway, to go barefoot is very common for South African boys.


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Created: 2:43 AM 12/24/2009
Last updated: 9:13 PM 12/2/2010