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swaziland - umhlanga or reed dance

Swaziland - Umhlanga or Reed Dance.

 

I had the wonderful opportunity to see the Reed Dance or "Umhlanga" which takes place in

the spring every year. Young childless unmarried maidens from all over the Kingdom cut reeds with long knives and then gather and present them to the Queen Mother and dance, colourfully dressed and bare breasted. The ceremony lasts eight days with the King only attending the last day's ceremony. The girls wear coloured tassels and woollen streamers denoting whether they are betrothed or not. The Princesses wear red feathers in their hair. The Swazis are a proud, wonderfully friendly nation and Swaziland is a beautiful country to visit.

 

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Taken in August 2010