Kagg’agn Dreams


Produced by Handspring Trust for Puppetry Arts & the CHR, UWC
A film by Jonathan Jones, Urban Lung Productions

The subject of ‘Kagg’agn Dreams’, a film by Jonathan Jones, is the making of the 2014 Barrydale Parade and Performance, presented on the Day of Reconciliation in Barrydale. The film is named after the title of the performance. It tells the story of a confused and alienated local young man (Booi) who takes shelter from a storm and falls asleep in a cave where there are San rock paintings. He awakens to find that the rock paintings have come to life. He stumbles out of the cave to find himself in the world of the KhoiSan many thousands of years ago. Booi is then initiated into the KhoiSan way of life.

The performance featured two giant puppets – the Eland, beloved of the San, and the Mantis, or Kagg’agn, the San creator of everything. The Eland was designed by Beren Belknap, and the Mantis by Luyanda Nogodlwana.

The event brought together the skills and energy of many people. Jill Joubert contributed her expertise for a week to train the Young Leaders in construction of the hand-held puppets (bokkies, dassies, the rock painting images) for the performance. Each of the 150 children involved made and carried a puppet.

The initial stages of formulating the story were co-ordinated by CHR artist-in-residence, Mongi Mthombeni, and the show itself was directed by Aja Marnawick, with help from Kelly-Eve Koopman. Net vir Pret’s Jazz Monkeys and their teacher Gari Crawford provided the music for the occasion.