Infecting the City 2012
City Treasurers - Full Ratiep Display

A rare local Sufi ceremony


Sat 26 at 10hoo


The Festival Hub


120 mins

Only on Saturday morning you can witness an exceedingly rare performance of a full Ratiep Display. Involving swords, knives, drums, tambourines, and a whole lot of faith, these ancient displays have almost vanished from the Cape.

Also known as khalifah or ratib, ratiep is an expression of Sufi mysticism. Ratiep made its first appearance in Cape Town over 300 years ago, brought by slaves from Indonesia. We searched for practitioners of the display for several months before finding a group.
As members of the group or jummah recite prayers and sing religious songs to the accompaniment of drums, others enter a mystical state that allows them to strike themselves with swords and daggers without causing harm, thereby demonstrating the power of faith.
Ashraf Abass, one of Mitchell Plain’s last and leading proponents, his family, and their friends have agreed to perform a full ceremony on Saturday but during the week you’ll can get a sneak preview of this mystical practice on the Jewel Stages.

Click here for more details on Ratiep.