Gumboot dance originates in the gold mines of South Africa where men were forced to work in hazardous conditions underground wading for hours in infected water. Instead of attempting to drain the mines the workers were given gumboots (wellington boots) for protection. The gold miners were forbidden from talking and as a result created a means of communication to keep morale high, send messages to each other and warn of elements of dangers like falling bricks close to your colleagues head! This ‘language’ was executed through a variety of welly slapping, thigh tapping, foot stomping and clapping. After the workers were freed, the steps they learnt in the mines became part of the new Gumboot dance form and were recognized nationally as a South African traditional dance and still celebrated today marking the end of slavery in the mines.