Reed Dance

Reed Dance

Late August or early September
The Reed Dance is the culmination of a week-long coming-of-age ceremony for young girls in Swaziland. They gather in the royal city of Lobamba and spend several days along the riverbank gathering reeds for the Queen Mother. They use the reeds to rebuild the screens that surround the Queen Mother's kraal, or enclosure. The Reed Dance is performed for the Queen Mother near the end of the ceremony, when the girls, dressed in bead skirts and beautiful jewelry, perform complicated steps done in perfect time, tossing reeds high into the air. Since the Reed Dance, also known as Umhlanga, is not a sacred ceremony, visitors are welcome to watch.
CONTACTS:
Swaziland Ministry of Tourism
Income Tax Bldg., 2nd Fl.
P.O. Box 2652
Mbabane, Swaziland
268-404-4556; fax: 268-404-5415
www.gov.sz
SOURCES:
BkHolWrld-1986, Aug 21
FolkWrldHol-1999, p. 501
References in periodicals archive ?
They were going to the Swazi king's residence for the annual eight-day reed dance.
Two trucks and a car transporting scores of the young women to the Umhlanga Reed Dance collided on Friday near Matsapha, on the country's major motorway.
The girls and young women were killed while on their way to join thousands of others at Swaziland's most famous traditional festival, the annual reed dance.
Department spokesperson Mogomotsi Magodini stated that, "We are looking at these cultural pressings not only for a reed dance but also to invest into the local economy, because people will be attracted towards ENyokeni, .
Mswati, a 45-year-old who is sub-Saharan Africa's last absolute monarch, introduced Sindiswa Dlamini at a Reed Dance celebration over the weekend, Mtetwa told AFP.
King Mswati III, who has at least 23 children and is Africa's last absolute monarch, famously selects a new wife at a reed dance where up to 100,00 women are paraded in front of him.
His Majesty King Mswati has invited participants to join the Swazi nation to celebrate the annual Reed Dance.
The summit coincides with the Swaziland Trade Fair and the annual Reed Dance which celebrates Swaziland's rich cultural heritage.
2) Place where the reeds for the Swazi Reed Dance festival are
Mthethwa's previous projects, including his Maidens (2006) series, have tracked this same process in seemingly more benign circumstances, such as the annual bussing of thousands of young Zulu girls to the Reed Dance in Kwanongoma, Zimbabwe.
The saga began when palace aides abducted three schoolgirls from their homes or schools following their selection by the king at the traditional reed dance held in September.
The women were on their way to the Swazi king's royal residence for the annual reed dance.