Photographs of the women and girls who dance bare breasted and in short skirts and some with no underwear in front of Swaziland's absolute monarch King Mswati III at the traditional Reed Dance are appearing on pornography websites across the world. The half-naked dancers, some as young as 11, are also said to be attracting 'sex tourists' to the kingdom. Also, some of King Mswati's American backers told him the sight of a middle-age man watching tens of thousands of semi-clothed women dance for him gave Swaziland a bad image as there was an obvious 'sexual undertone' to it.
Most of the girls were naked. They seemed to enjoy the attention they were getting from the excited men. The maidens also seemed to enjoy themselves as this was the only day they had to relax before the big day tomorrow.
Thousands of bare-breasted young Swazi women paraded themselves in front of their king yesterday in a lavish ceremony to celebrate chastity and unity. Dressed in beaded skirts, clutching machetes and mobile phones, women and girls danced and sang tributes to the king and queen mother — also known as the Great She-Elephant — in a traditional Umhlanga Reed Dance to celebrate womanhood and virginity. Celebrations: Thousand of virgins took part in the event in honour of a royal family which has in some quarters been criticised for being out of touch with a country where many live in abject poverty.
The ceromony is where up to 40 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.
Portly and beaming, King Mswati III of Swaziland basked in the adoration of 50, topless virgins yesterday when the flower of his country's girlhood paraded before him, vying to become his new queen. Legions of half-naked teenage girls danced, twirled and pounded the earth outside the royal kraal, proclaiming their willingness to become the 13th wife of the last absolute monarch in sub-Saharan Africa. King Mswati, reclining on a throne placed under a golden awning, smiled broadly at the display.
Swazi Reed Dance In I was in Swaziland to photograph Coral Stevens handweaving and had the wonderful opportunity to see the Reed Dance or "Umhlanga" which takes place in the spring every year. Young childless unmarried maidens from all over the Kingdom cut reeds with long knives and then gather and present them to the Queen Mother and dance, colourfully dressed and bare breasted. The ceremony lasts eight days with the King only attending the last day's ceremony.
In this eight-day ceremony, young girls cut reeds, present them to the Queen Mother Indlovukazi — ostensibly to repair the windbreak around her royal residence — and then dance in celebration. Up to 40, girls take part, dressed up in brightly coloured attired — making it one of the biggest and most spectacular cultural events in Africa. The proper festivities kick off on day six, when dancing gets under way in the afternoon.
By Damien Gayle. Thousands of bare-breasted young Swazi women paraded themselves in front of their king yesterday in a lavish ceremony to celebrate chastity and unity. Dressed in beaded skirts, clutching machetes and mobile phones, women and girls danced and sang tributes to the king and queen mother - also known as the Great She-Elephant - in a traditional Umhlanga Reed Dance to celebrate womanhood and virginity. Those taking part dismissed criticism of the extravagant celebrations on Sunday and Monday, which took place in one of Africa's poorest countries, ruled by the continent's last absolute monarch.
A common tradition in Swaziland Swazi permits the King, Mswati, to choose a new bride every year. DAILY POST learnt that a long time tradition in Swaziland permits the the Sherburne-educated King to choose a new bride every year Augustin the Swazi Reed Dance Festival where he parades and tests topless under aged virgin girls publicly to ascertain that their virginity was still intact. It has been a long time tradition in Swaziland and not the first time this controversial issue is making it into the news.