Greatman Mhlanga, Businessman and Part Time Photographer based in Nelspruit, South Africa captured the 2017 Edition of Swazi Reed Dance in Swaziland.
Umhlanga, or Reed Dance ceremony, is an annual Swazi and Zulu event.In Swaziland, tens of thousands of unmarried and childless Swazi girls and women travel from the various chiefdoms to the Ludzidzini Royal Village to participate in the eight-day event. The young, unmarried girls were placed in female age-regiments; girls who had fallen pregnant outside wedlock had their families fined a cow.
Umhlanga was created in the 1940s in Swaziland under the rule of Sobhuza II and is an adaptation of the much older Umcwasho ceremony.The reed dance continues to be practiced today in Swaziland. In South Africa, the reed dance was introduced in 1991 by Goodwill Zwelithini, the current King of the Zulus. The dance in South Africa takes place in Nongoma, a royal kraal of the Zulu king
The maidens laid the reeds in the royal compound yesterday and the dance will commence today said Greatman Mhlanga.