Tuesday, September 12, 2017

2017 Zulu Virgin Annual Reed Dance in South Africa #PhotoNews

Princess Nqobangothando has taken a leading role as the annual reed dance at eNyokeni Royal Palace kicked off in South Africa.

Princess Nqobangothando at the annual reed dance at eNyokeni Royal Palace on September 6, 2014
in Nongoma, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images / City Press / Khaya Ngwenya)
The 2017 annual reed dance in South Africa got off to a colourful start some days ago as the Zulu monarch King Goodwill Zwelithini presided over the event. Thousands of young women came out to participate in the event.
It all started well with the local mayor expressing his pride in the continuation of the decades-old custom.
What you need to know abou Reed Dance
The ceremony is known as Umkhosi woMhlanga, and takes place every year in September at the Enyokeni Royal Palace in Nongoma, KwaZulu-Natal. The girls come from all parts of Zululand, and in recent years there are also smaller groups from Swaziland, as well as more distant places such as Botswana and Pondoland.
All girls are required to undergo a virginity test before they are allowed to participate in a royal dance. In recent years the testing practice has been met with some opposition.
The girls wear traditional attire, including beadwork, and izigege and izinculuba that show their bottoms. They also wear anklets, bracelets, necklaces, and colourful sashes. Each sash has appendages of a different colour, which denote whether or not the girl is betrothed.
As part of the ceremony, the young women dance bare-breasted for their king, and each maiden carries a long reed, which is then deposited as they approach the king. The girls take care to choose only the longest and strongest reeds, and then carry them towering above their heads in a slow procession up the hill to Enyokeni Palace. The procession is led by the chief Zulu princess, who takes a prominent role throughout the festival. If the reed should break before the girl reaches that point, it is considered a sign that the girl has already been sexually active.
The ceremony was reintroduced by King Goodwill Zwelethini in 1991, as a means to encourage young Zulu girls to delay sexual activity until marriage, and thus limit the possibility of HIV transmission.
-culled from Wikipedia

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