Infecting the City 2012
The Jewels - Ratiep

A hidden Sufi ceremony brought by Islamic slaves from Indonesia 300 years ago, involving drums and swords.


Peter Hayes

When and Where:

Jewel Route 3: Wed 23 at 11h00 and 13h10
Jewel Route 1: Thurs 24 at 11h00 and 1310


Jewel Route 3 begins on St. Georges Mall, between Castle St and Shortmarket St
Jewel Route 1 begins at the Grand Parade market

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.

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.

‘I heard rumours of Ratiep happening in Bo-Kaap, but nobody knew when or where. It had approached the dubious status of urban legend,’ says Peter Hayes, the Festival Jeweler working with the Ratiep practitioners. ‘But it’s not. It’s there! Ashraf Abass, one of Mitchell Plain’s last and leading proponents, and his family and their friends have agreed to perform a full ceremony on Saturday, but during the week you’ll be getting a sneak preview of this mystical practice.’

Peter Hayes

Peter Hayes

Peter is the Artistic Director for Hearts & Eyes Theatre Collective. In this capacity he works either as producer, director or actor on the various projects of the company. As an actor he made his mark in Get Hard, which remains one of the most radical gay plays in South Africa.  He performed in The Tricky Part and his new solo performance piece, I Am Here, was premiered at the National Arts Festival at Arena, Grahamstown on 25 June 2010 read more...