David Rycroft South Africa Collection

First Fruits Ceremony: narration .

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  • Subjects

    Zulu folksongs and dance , ceremonial songs-Africa (Zulu) , amahubo (singular ihubo)

  • Recording date


  • Recording locations

    South Africa

  • Speakers

    Rycroft, David (narrator, male)

  • Description

    This recording begins with the singing of the amahubo (singular ihubo) anthems of the AmaNgcobo clan. Rycroft narrates some information about a man who lives in a valley outside Elandskop KwaZulu Natal near the town of Pietersmaritzburg. He is a young Zulu chief called Umlungisi Ngcobo and is the ruler of the AmaNgcobo clan. Rycroft introduces the Zulu first fruits ceremony called Ukweshama (also known as Umkhosi). He explains that this ceremony has seldom been practiced since the fall of the Zulu Kingdom in 1879. However, the AmaNgcobo clan have kept this ceremony alive through annual celebrations. Rycroft provides a very detailed introduction to this five-day festival. He explains how the chief goes into solitary confinement for three days during the festival. He stays in his hut and abstains from food and communication with the outside world. During his confinement, he communicates with the amadlozi (ancestors). After three days his loyal supporters, the amashoshozelo arrive and sing the chief's praises and a special anthem for the spirits of the AmaNgcobo clan.

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