According to Zulu Culture.com, thousands of Zulu virgins dance at the Enyokeni Zulu Royal Palace each September at the Reed Dance Festival, or Umkhosi Womhlanga. The tradition begins with the virgin maids gathering reeds from the river and bringing them to the Zulu king. The girls dance with the reeds in front of the king, and then he chooses his bride. Besides the bride choice, one of the main purposes of this ritual was to encourage girls to remain virgins until marriage.
There are several types of Zulu dances that occur throughout the year and many occasions that call for a dance. Some examples of these significant time periods include weddings, childbirth and coming-of-age initiations. Other dancing occasions include inaugurations of Zulu kings and war victories.
Types of Zulu Dances
There are many types of Zulu dances besides the reed dance. The Ingoma dance is considered one of the most purist forms of Zulu dance, according to Zululand Ecoadventures. This dance is performed to a chant and during transition ceremonies, such as coming of age, weddings and pre-hunt or pre-battle time periods. The Ingoma is frantically danced and incorporates high kicking motions. The Indlamu dance is the traditional male warrior dance, and it shows off muscular strength and mock fighting. The Imvunulo dance only has one dancer and is done to show off traditional Zulu attire and place in society. Isicathamiya is a dance performed by a group of men or boys standing in a straight line to symbolize community life and issues. At weddings, both the Ingoma and Indalmu dances are done, along with Umbholoho dances. These types of dances feature both families of the newly married couple.
Ingoma dances are done with the sounds of the dancers' chants. In the Isishameni form of Ingoma, the boys and girls dance separately, and the opposite genders clap along for each other. The Indalamu dance is done with drums and whistles. The Isicathamiya