Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Reed Dance Ceremony from Swaziland

Swaziland is a landlocked country in southern Africa, bordered to the north, south and west by South Africa, and to the east by Mozambique. The nation, as well as its people, are named after the 19th-century king Mswati II. Population is 2.2 mln people.

The Reed Dance Ceremony or Umhlanga is an annual tradition held in August or September. Tens of thousands of unmarried and childless girls and women travel from their villages to participate in the eight-day event. The girls wear traditional bead necklace, rattling anklets made from cocoons, a sash, and skirt. The women sing and dance as they parade in front of the royal family as well as a crowd of spectators, tourists and foreign dignitaries.  After the parade, groups from select villages take to the centre of the field and put on a special performance for the crowd. One of the main objectives of the Reed Dance historically is for the king to choose another wife [source: Wikipedia]

 Sent by Selby for private swap

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