Published on 18 Jun 2015 | about 1 year ago
Umhlanga, or Reed Dance ceremony, is an annual Swazi and Zulu cultural event. In Swaziland, tens of thousands of unmarried and childless Swazi girls and women travel from the various chiefdoms to Ludzidzini to participate in the eight-day event. Umhlanga was created in the 1940s in Swaziland under the rule of Sobhuza II. The ceremony was an adaptation of the umcwasho ceremony, an older cultural practice in Swaziland.
The young umarried girls were placed in female age-regiments. Girls who fall pregnant outside marriage had their families fined a cow. The reed dance continues to be practiced today in Swaziland. In South Africa, the reed dance was introduced in 1991 by the Zulu king Zwelithini. The dance here takes place in Nongoma, a royal kraal of the Zulu king