Saturday, December 8, 2012

Traditional Zulu Dancing – by Zeke

We arrived ashore at 8 o'clock where we met Sandy from North Sails who had offered to take us to a Zulu cultural centre.  Mum and Dad talked with Sandy about local politics as we made our way out of the city of Durban and into the Valley of a Thousand Hills.  Ignoring the houses that are scattered around the place the Thousand Hills area is extremely beautiful.  As we rolled into the gates we came in view of the cultural centre.  

the cultural centre was set in the beautiful Valley of a Thousand Hills

We saw scattered around a central grassed roofed building several smaller grass roofed domes.  We firstly entered a reception area where we got our tickets then past a craft area.  Back in the open (jumpers on again) we were led around the smaller grass domes that we had seen earlier.  Each grass dome, or rather hut, was furnished differently.  There was a hut for cooking, meeting and sleeping.

there were huts for cooking, meeting and sleeping

this was the chief sitting in the meeting hut

As we came around the other side of the big central building we noticed that one half of the building had been chopped off and taken away.  The inside of the building was like an amphitheatre.  All of a sudden a drum started beating and on to the area in front of the amphitheatrepoured a troupe of very athletic young men.  Wow can they kick.  They were doing the splits standing on one foot.  With whoops that would scare boy scouts they pranced on around the amphitheatre

the big central hut was cut in half to make an amphitheatre for dancing

The next performance was about the courtship rituals of the local Zulus.  The first step was to bargain with the girl’s father using cattle.  Then the now future wife places a necklace round her new husband’s neck.  The wedding now starts and there is more wild dancing.  The men held these feathered sticks as they danced.  The husband consulted the witch doctor who told the fortunes of the new family.

the wedding dance was very wild and athletic

They were doing the splits standing on one foot

the witch doctor told the fortunes of the new family

All in all it is something I will never forget.

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