The 2012 Zulu Reed Dance

Zulu reed dance Umkhosi womhlanga

Zulu reed dance Umkhosi womhlanga

The Zulu Kings Reed Dance (uMkhosi woMhlanga) at eNyokeni Palace, Nongoma. The 2012 Zulu Reed Dance is from 31 August 2012 – 02 September 2012.

Every year in September over 25 thousand Zulu Maidens gather at King Goodwill Zwelithini’s royal palace for the Zulu Reed Dance (uMkhosi woMhlanga). The Reed dance is a colourful and cultural celebration that promotes respect for young women, and preserves the custom of keeping girls as virgins until marriage.

The historical roots of the Zulus are based on Nkabazwe (land of origin) which is the source of civilisation. The Zulu King Goodwill Zwelethini kaBhekuzulu is referred to as uHlanga lwezwe because they link them with their common ancestors. When Zulus moved southwards they travelled in rafts ‘isilulu’ made of reeds.

Zulu reed dance maidens nudes

Zulu reed dance maidens nudes

The Zulu Reed dance is an educational experience and opportunity for young maidens to learn how to behave in front of the King.
This is done while delivering reed sticks and dancing. Maidens learn and understand the songs while the young princesses lead the virgins. Traditional attire includes beadwork to symbolise African beauty at it’s best.

At this stage the maidens are taught by senior females how to behave themselves and be proud of their virginity and naked bodies. That allows maidens to expect respect from their suitors who intend approaching them during the ceremony.

Zulu Reed Dance maidens

Zulu Reed Dance maidens

Each maiden is to carry a reed from the river and present it to the King in a spectacular procession at the Enyokeni Palace. The girls converge in groups from the Zululand regions to the Kings Palace the day before the ceremony. The activity promotes purity among the virgin girls and respect for women. The Zulu Reed Dance ceremony is the key element of keeping young girls virgins until they are ready to get married.

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