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Zulu Tribe

Zulu Dance

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Zulu Language

Young boys Zulu Dance

Young sangoma girls Zulu Dance
Ingoma (isizingili) - a dance performed by boys and girls without drums and
accompanied by a chant. The girls wear woollen skirts and are usually
bare-chested. They also wear rattles made of seedpods around the ankles to accent the high kicks.

The Ingoma is one of the purist remnants of Zulu tradition. Boys and girls perform the dance for transition ceremonies such as coming of age, weddings. In the past before a hunt as well as before battle. For the youth it instills the trasition of sharing experiences and building solidarity through communal dance.

Ingoma (isishameni) - a harmonising performance with boys and girls together
but dancing separately. The boys clap while the girls dance and vice-versa.

Older men Zulu Dance
Indlamu - the traditional dance most often associated with Zulu culture. It
is performed with drums and full traditional attire and is derived from the war dances of the warriors.

Young men Zulu Dance
This war dance is untouched by Western influence probably because it is regarded as a touchstone of Zulu identity.Full regimental atture, precise timing and uncompromised posture are required.It is danced by men of any age wearing skin(amabeshu), headrings, ceremonial belts, ankle rattles, sheilds and weapons like knobkeries and spears. While indlamu uses similar steps as girls do for ingoma, it has a much more calculated, less frantic feel, showing off muscular strength and control of the weapons with mock stabs at imaginary enemies.Dancers are more likely to make eye contact with the audience.Various drums and whistles accompany the dance.

Both indlamu and ingoma are performed at weddings.Women perform ingoma and men indlamu.

Young men Zulu Dance
Imvunulo - this is a dance by only one participant and is a parade to show
off the traditional attire of the Zulu men and women.Traditional attire is integral in dance, representing one’s role and position in society.
Dress is determined by age, rank and gender. Young ones do not cover their thighs, but adults should.Men wear amabeshu and women wear leather skirts and beaded aprons.A leather skirt worn by a women is connected with being pregnant or desiring to be pregnant. Over that she wears beaded aprons, presented on her wedding day by her father. Colours in the aprons can signify where the dancer comes from. Girls beadwork girdles are called isigege and should not contain red beads as these are reserved for married women.

Older girls Zulu Dance

IsicathamiyaThis is performed by men or boys standing in a straight line or arc. The music is balladic and the lyrics pertain to modern issues but use ancient melodies. Issues like aids, crime and migrant labour . The lead singer provides the counterpoint or rhythm. The music form symbolises life in rural Zululand and the townships.This dance has become internationally known.

There are special wedding songs and dances called umBholoho and form a structured ritual to channel mutual antagonism between families of the bride and groom. Families take turns to outdo each other in beautiful dancing and song.

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