The warrior tribe, as the Zulu’s are known, were mighty and fierce in their battles on the plains of Africa, using their dramatic tribal dance as a means to instill fear in the hearts of their enemies! Unlike the warrior men in the tribe, the Zulu women danced to show joy and love and when men and women came together they told a beautiful story. Zulu is a South African tribe, and one of the largest ethnic groups. With their traditional dances they celebrate, as indeed in many other cultures weddings, the inauguration of a new king, choosing a bride, contact with the ancestors, rites of passage to adulthood, finding a partner. There is very little that can be compared to the vibrant energy, the rhythmic drum beat and the raw energy of the dancers.
In a typical Zulu dance large and high steps and jumps are made, and is hard and rhythmically pounded on the ground. The dancers stand in a line. Hands are piled high, often decorated with weapons and shields. Sometimes the dance is subdued and almost a shuffle. On other occasions, the dancers sometimes are kicking above their head before falling to the ground to jump up with high kicks again.
The Zulu Reed Dance is an opportunity for young girls to get noticed by the king, who is also looking for a wife. In this dance, the girls get reeds by the river and bring them to the king.
"Ingoma (isizingili)" is performed by boys and girls only accompanied by singing (no drums). The girls dance bare-chested and wear seedpod - rattles around their ankles to accentuate kicking’s. It 's a rite of passage, and a fight - and hunting dance.
In "Ingoma (ishishameni)" the boys and girls dance separately. A group claps while the other dances.
"Indlamu" is the dance that is most associated with Zulu culture. It is derived from the war dances. It is a men's dance and it is carried out in full regalia: head ornaments, ceremonial belts, rattles, shields and weapons. They show the mastery of their strength and weapons.
"Imvunulo" is a solo dance to show off the traditional attire, with the dancer showing by what she wears her marital status or desire to become pregnant.
"Isicathamiya" is performed by men and boys in a line or arc, and accompanied by a ballad singer.