Tired of the all-too-usual dance routines? Then discover the Zulu dance.
Instead of packing and bringing your hunting air rifle, like those reviewed at RifleJudge, to your next trip to Africa, why not spend a day and immerse with the great culture of the Zulu people?
Zulu cultural immersion is now becoming one of the popular tourist attractions in South Africa. The Zulu, which literally means people of heaven, are really a proud culture that is very hospitable and friendly; offering a complete loyalty to their inkosi (tribal leader). More than just a spectacle, the Zulu culture and traditions are a way of life.
There are many things that make the Zulu culture unique and interesting, but it is their dances that truly leave an impression. These dances vary in styles, movements, choreography, and purpose.
The best time to behold the different types of Zulu dances is during the Reed Dance Festival celebrated during September each year. During this tribal event, a crowd of Zulu virgins troop the Enyokeni Zulu Royal Palace. This activity is a way to promote purity among virgin girls and also pays homage to ladies.
The Reed Dance Festival is just one part of the annual festivities celebrated by the South African ethnic group. During the festival, the virgins collect the reeds that line the river and bring them to the palace for examination of King Goodwill Zwelithini. Also during the festival, the royal king chooses his youngest wife. Some have criticized this festival for disempowering young women of their freedom to choose their partners and for being wed at a very young age. But on a larger perspective, it’s a traditional way of preserving the purity of girls before they are wed.
Here some of the types of Zulu Dance that you might find inspiration with for your next dance routines.
- Bull Dance
Originating from the cramped spaces in mine dormitories, the Bull Dance gracefully uses the arms held aloft coupled with thumping of the feet. Rural girls have their unique versions.
- Hunting Dance
No, I’m not talking about the modern hunting that you might be thinking now. Don’t even think of taking out your hunting scopes like the ones you’ll see on this link. This Hunting Dance mimics the tribal hunting practices and the bravery it takes. This is a fiery dance that uses sticks and is performed before hunting is commenced. Girls also dance this routine to welcome the hunters arriving from their escapade.R
In this dance, the performer seems like climbing up an imaginary ladder or pulling down the sky.
Much like modern dances, this dance involves violent shaking of the upper body.
One of the most graceful dances in the tribe, this dance movement involves the upper body while swinging a long decorated stick.
This dance movement mimics the tides wherein the men alternately advance and retreat around the audience. Dancers on the rear raise their aprons to expose their behinds.
- Dance of the Small Shield
Usually performed during Royal occasions, this rhythmic dance is aimed to strengthen military bond. An almost similar dance is the umGhubho which uses spear and shield.
Accompanied by songs, the dancers perform in unison akin to that of a snake’s body.
The Zulu culture is truly remarkable. Their dances and songs play an important part in the life of the ethnic group – and there is so much to learn from the movements or formations of every dance move. It surely is a must-see for anyone who loves and values dance.