Moortje

Identifier

TBAFB0107

Title

Moortje

Description

The first play in the Netherlands to feature blackface was Bredero's 'Moortje' from 1615. This premiered in what would later become Amsterdam's Stadsschouwburg. Theater was accessible to a large part of Dutch society in the 17th century and often reflected how people thought. Bredero was known for writing 'comic' plays about everyday life in Amsterdam, with the aim of entertaining.
In Moortje, three men compete for the love of main character Moyaal. Moyaal is gifted by her lover Ritsart an enslaved black woman named La Negra. At the same time, Roemert, another character, tries to overcome Moyaal's love and promises to give her a young white maid named Katrijntje as a present, on the condition that Moyaal agrees to leave Ritsart. Writsart, Ritsart's brother, sees Katrijntje and falls in love with her. Writsart disguises himself as La Negra (in blackface and in women's clothing) and rapes Katrijntje, leading to other developments in the play.

Note: This version was performed in 1992/1993 in The Hague, the Netherlands.

Language

Dutch

Publisher

Het Nationale Toneel Den Haag

Relation

Facing Blackness is a multimedia exhibition that takes the public through the obscure history of portraying Black people from the colonial period to contemporary society. Using unique archive material and visual art, we show how anti-black racism became part of the Dutch 'cultural archive' and our everyday ideas, customs and utensils. On the other hand, the exhibition shows how there has always been 'everyday resistance' to various forms of racism and how Black people themselves have given and continue to give meaning to their culture and identity.

Source

The Black Archives

Date

1993

Primary Author

Bredero, G.A.

Page Count

176

Keywords

Play, Theater, Moor, Blackface, Entertainment Room

Archived By

Lieke Bremer

Citation

“Moortje,” The Black Archives, accessed June 30, 2022, https://collection.theblackarchives.nl/items/show/3541.
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