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Tana Baru Cemetery
Bo-Kaap, Cape Town, Western Cape



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33°55'05.97" S 18°24'54.57" E

The Tana Baru

The Tana Baru is the name of the disused Muslim cemetery at the top of Longmarket Street, Cape Town. It is in reality composed of three independent burial grounds, lying adjacent to each other and forming a continuous land mass. Two of these burial grounds are on land granted to the Muslims in 1805 and 1842 as public burial grounds. It is certain that the Muslims buried their dead here long before 1805 when the first piece of land was officially granted to Imaum Frans of Bengal as a Javaansche begraafplaats. The third burial ground consists of private plots purchased by prominent Cape Imams, as burial grounds for their respective congregations.

The Tana Baru was the main cemetery of the Muslim community of Cape Town until 15 January, 1886 when it was closed by Government decree. The closure, in terms of Sections 63 to 65 of the Public Health Act of 1883, was against the wishes of the people...

Despite its closure, the Tana Baru has always been regarded as the most sacred of the Muslim cemeteries of Cape Town. Within its confines are buried some of the most respected founders of this community; men and women, who to this day are honoured for the roles they played in the establishment, spread and consolidation of Islam in the Western Cape.

Tana Baru derived from Malayu: Tana is ground; Baru is new.

(Davids 1985:2-3)

Submitted by Schalk LE ROUX 2014.

Kramats in this cemetery:
Imam Abdullah Kadi Abdus Salaam - Tuan Guru
Tuan Sayeed Alawie
Tuan Nuruman

Writings about this entry

Davids, Achmat. 1980. The Mosques of Bo-Kaap - A social history of Islam at the Cape. Athlone, Cape: The South African Institute of Arabic and Islamic Research. pg 43-46, 92-109
Davids, Achmat. 1985. The History of the Tana Baru. Cape Town: Committee for the Preservation of the Tana Baru. pg 2-3, 40-48
Jaffer, Mansoor. 1996. Guide to the Kramats of the Western Cape. Cape Town: Cape Mazaar Kramat Society. pg 40
Malan, Antonia, Halkett, D J & Hart, Timothy James Graham. 2017. Grave encounters : archaeology of the burial grounds, Green Point, South Africa. Cape Town: ACO Associates cc. pg 22, 39, 45, 56