Category Archives: Tradition

Wednesday photo: Umtsimba dancing

A few months ago I participated in my first Swazi wedding. The bride had already been teka-ed and lobola was finally paid. The bride was my make’s elder sister, and I am guessing it had been 40 years since her … Continue reading

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A traditional wedding, part one: The teka

Making the bride cry tears of sadness because she is leaving her home and becoming part of another family is an integral part to first large segment of a traditional wedding. The teka follows the kujuma (sleepover), where the bride … Continue reading

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Embracing Swazi culture

In the two months that have passed since the end of Umhlanga, I have met so many astonished and proud Swazis and Zulus. People are still telling me that they saw me dancing and everyone is impressed. Some ask me … Continue reading

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A moment in my life: Sangoma in the house

So many entertaining things happen in my life in Swaziland. These are the moments I will want to remember because they make me laugh, and they show insight into my daily routine. These moments are often hard to photograph and … Continue reading

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A few more photos from dancing Umhlanga

Because I have so many wonderful photos from PCV Kirby at http://www.whatiskirbydoing.com, I want to share a few more of the Umhlanga ceremony. If you want to read more about my experience, check out day six  (delivering the reeds) and … Continue reading

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Day seven: Dancing time

The day of big dancing started off like every other day – with me unsure of what was going to happen. It turns out that Monday’s activities are a replica of Sunday’s, except that the reeds have already been delivered. … Continue reading

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Delivering the reeds in photos

Delivering the reeds was everything I wanted and more. You can read about that day here. I finally got the 1500 photos from day six and day seven, so here are the best ones from delivering the reeds. Please note … Continue reading

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Day six: Delivering reeds to the queen mother

I thought to myself, “I wonder if the king is here,” and then I looked up and made eye contact with him. It was the day of reed delivery to the queen mother, and it only made sense that the … Continue reading

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Photos from cutting reeds

Cutting the reeds turned out to be pretty exciting after a long wait for the day to get started. The photos below show a bit of the march, the cutting, the preparing, the tying, and the posing with the reeds. … Continue reading

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Day four: Another long march

Friday is the day of the return march to Ludzidzini.  When I arrived, my group was already packed and we departed for the umphakatsi within a few minutes. I thought things would be happening soon, but of course, that wasn’t … Continue reading

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