2018 Umhlanga Reed Dance


The Umhlanga Reed Dance is a traditional dance and ceremony where up to 40 000 Swazi maidens gather and dance for the Queen Mother. This Swazi cultural event is performed as a tribute to the Royal Family and dates back centuries in time. Taking place over a week, normally the last in August, it is largely private, however its final two public days (normally a Sunday and Monday) are a spectacle that is unrivalled in Africa today. Thousands upon thousands of maidens dress up in brightly coloured attire and sing, dance together as they deliver the reed or umlanga to the Royal Residence. Their enjoyment of this ceremony is quite apparent as they use the opportunity of bonding with girls of similar ages from across the country.

eswatini, umhlanga reed dance, ceremony
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