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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/504

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474 Collectanea.

accompanied it with a chant. They then withdrew to a Httle distance aside, to make way for the procession of Laduma and his people, who went through in their turn the same performance. The chants used were tribal songs. The words of the chant by the Amampumuza tribe were, "We have thrashed all the nations of the world," repeated over and over again. During the dancing, princesses of the tribe and women of high rank, generally far from young, decked out in native finery, passed singly to and fro in front of the ranks of dancers with a peculiar swimming motion, and appeared to egg them on to further efforts and excitement.^

Laduma and his people withdrew when Mhlola, the bride- groom, and his procession advanced. They went through the same formalities. The bridegroom then sat down, and the bride's party approached. First her father and a number of men related to him and the bride came to the spot where the bridegroom was seated with his personal attendants, and per- formed an introductory dance. When they retired, a number of girls, the companions of the bride, came forward and danced in the bridegroom's presence. They were afterwards joined by the marriageable girls of the tribe, and a further dance was performed. Up to that time the bride had not made her appearance. She presently joined the party and danced with them. In a short time, however, she emerged with a companion on the left of the ranks of dancers, two other girls emerging at the same time on the right. All four, moving towards the bride- groom, performed a special dance of their own, and fell back into the ranks of their comrades. The whole body then retired, escorting the bride again to her position before she joined them.

At this point the bridegroom's go-between, probably his brother or uncle, who had conducted the negotiations for the match and arranged the amount of lobola to be paid for the bride, stepped forward and performed various antics or dances, in order to show his pleasure. Thereupon the bride presented him and his companions with an umbrella apiece, at the same time presenting one also to the bridegroom.

^ See Plate X, which shows the women passing in front of the ranks of men. The chief's hoe-Uke sceptre or symbol is seen in the centre.