Miko the Kitty
: The Umhlanga or Reed Dance developed out of an old tradition where young girls gathered in a large group. Whenever a girl became pregnant outside of marriage, the family had to pay a fine of one cow to the local chief. When the girls reached an age that was considered proper for marriage, they would engage in labor service for the Queen Mother, feast and dance.
In today’s Swaziland the Reed Dance preserves many of these past traditions. Young, unmarried girls still get together, meeting nowadays at the Queen Mother’s Ludzidzini Royal Village. During this eight-day event the girls engage in work to help the Queen Mother repair the windbreaks around the traditional huts, join the princesses of the monarchy take their reed bundles to a place where they throw them, sing and dance in unison. On the eight day the king typically commands that a certain number of cattle be slaughtered for the girls. The girls then collect their portion of meat and finally return home. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R01eZz_zvtA