Swaziland cultural traditions | Swaziland Reed Dance | Umhlanga | Ncwala Ceremony | Kingship Ceremony

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Swaziland cultural traditions including Swaziland Reed Dance, Umhlanga, Ncwala Ceremony or Kingship Ceremony

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Swaziland cultural traditions | Swaziland Reed Dance | Umhlanga | Ncwala Ceremony | Kingship Ceremony

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Umhlanga or Reed dance

Umhlanga

All young maidens from every part of the country gather to take part in the Reed Dance.

 

Most of the participants are teenagers.

 

Umhlanga usually takes place in late August or early September.

 

The maidens pay respect to the Queen Mother.

 

At the ceremony the girls wear short beaded skirts with ankle bracelets and jewellery with colorful sashes.

 

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 center of the field and put on a special performance for the crowd.

 

The King's many daughters also participate in the Umhlanga ceremony and are distinguished by the crown of red feathers in their hair.


Usually the king chooses his wife at the reed dance ceremony from among the participants.

Reed dance
   
Umhlanga ceremony Umhlanga usually takes place in late August or early September.

 

Ncwala Ceremony

The Ncwala Ceremony

Incwala or Kingship Ceremony is the most honorable events in the kingdom of Swaziland. It takes place during December/January.

 

The King and thousands of young men and warriors take part in various rituals, dances and songs. The dates for this ceremony are announced each year by the King, usually a few weeks before the event and are also determined by the phases of the moon.

The ritual begins with a journey by the "Bemanti" (people of the water), who go to the Indian Ocean to collect water and on their return to the royal kraal, the "Little Incwala" begins, preceding the full moon.

 

Young men collect the sacred branches of the "lusekwane" shrub, a species of acacia.

 

On their third day, the young men ritually slaughter a bull.

 

On the fourth day is the termination of the Ncwala when the king in full ceremonial dress joins his warriors in the traditional dance. The king then eats the first fruit of the season after further rituals at his special hut.

Kingship Ceremony
   
Ncwala Young men collect the sacred branches of the "lusekwane" shrub, a species of acacia.

 

Swaziland cultural traditions, Swaziland Reed Dance, Umhlanga, Ncwala Ceremony, Kingship Ceremony

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Swaziland cultural traditions, Swaziland Reed Dance, Umhlanga, Ncwala Ceremony, Kingship Ceremony

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