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
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Whatever the function of the reed dance might be, have persisting questions of my own about the reinvention and promotion of Olufuko in Namibia.
Every year during the Umhlanga, or the Reed Dance Festival, lasting from the end of August to the middle of September, the Swaziland king may choose a new wife from the unmarried virgin women and girls who attend the ceremony.
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.
Shake a leg as part of this unique dance ritual at the Umhlanga (Reed Dance), Lobamba where more than 30,000 participants, all of whom are women, dance with umhlanga (reeds) swaying above their heads, while they try to find a partner.
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. This spectacular and unique cultural ceremony has gained global fame and attracts visitors from all parts of the world.
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