Tag Archives: Culture

A traditional Swazi wedding, part two: Lobola

After the teka, the bride will return to her parents’ homestead. Her family will need to decide on the bride’s price, and then the whole family will travel back to the groom’s homestead for the sitsinjana, or lobola negotiation. In … Continue reading

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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 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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