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SWAZILAND

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zifnab
1084155.  Sat Jul 12, 2014 7:49 am Reply with quote

In 2009 I was for a period of 5 weeks in Swaziland and during this visit a learned some really nice stories about this country.

The Swaziland royal family (Dlamini) is by far the largest family in the country. This is mainly due to the really high number of wifes a king can have. Even my local guide (looks just a normal country boy) also appeared to be of royal blood.
During my time the King had about 12 wifes... but... you are not considered 'wife' unless you have given birth to a child from the king. So, next to these 12 wifes there is another group of already selected and married women who are not considered wife, more like 'engaged'.

Because of all these wifes and sons, there can be many claims to the throne. The hereditary rules are rather unique. What I've understood is that the next king must be male, the last born and have no brothers or sisters. The last rule is to prevent strife within a family.


Last edited by zifnab on Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:07 am; edited 1 time in total

 
zifnab
1084156.  Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:06 am Reply with quote

One of the famous festivals is the reed dance festival, in siSwati umhlanga (h prenounced as s). The festival consits of two parts. The first is that the gathered unmarried and childless girls help to renovate the building of the queen-mother (Ndlovukati, literally translated as Great-She-Elephant).
The more famous part is the dancing part afterwards. After the repairs the girls wash and clean themselves and then parade/dance in only a reed skirt before the royal family. With the princesses up front wearing a row of red feathers (can you imagine Catherine to be dancing bare chested through the streets of London?? ;-) ).
It is said most of the king's wifes and engaged women are selected during this parade. The feathers of the princesses are there to mark out the royal blood, to prevent inbreeding.

About the feathers. They come from a striking beautiful bird, the purple crested lourie. I believe the siSwati word for it is something like Ligwalagwala (speak like: li-gwala-gwala)
Only members of the royal family are allowed to wear a feather of a ligwalagwala on their head. You can get a fine if you wear one and are not royal.
Every Dlamini may wear one, with the shaft up and the feather down. Princesses may cary a row of feathers on their forehead, mainly during reed dance.
Only the king is allowed to wear 4 feathers. One up, one down, one left and one right.

The purple crested lourie or ligwalagwala

 
Alfred E Neuman
1084159.  Sat Jul 12, 2014 10:06 am Reply with quote

zifnab wrote:
One of the famous festivals is the reed dance festival, in siSwati umhlanga (h prenounced as s).


The h is not so much an s sound, closer to a sh, but with the tip of your tongue up on the roof of your mouth with the air escaping around the sides of your tongue. I can't think of an English consonant with the same sound (there may well be one).

 
zifnab
1084407.  Mon Jul 14, 2014 5:55 am Reply with quote

I agree. It is something like the sh in shower, fresh. Or in German the Sch in Schule.

 
ali
1281722.  Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:43 pm Reply with quote

The country formerly known as Swaziland has been renamed as the Kingdom of eSwatini.

 
crissdee
1281726.  Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:06 pm Reply with quote

zifnab wrote:
can you imagine Catherine to be dancing bare chested through the streets of London??


Frequently. And now Meghan has joined in!

 
suze
1281730.  Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:40 pm Reply with quote

ali wrote:
The country formerly known as Swaziland has been renamed as the Kingdom of eSwatini.


It's not really a renaming though, is it?

Rather, and much as has happened in Côte d'Ivoire and Timor-Leste, the country now wishes its local name to be used in all languages. I've never tried sending a postcode addressed to East Timor to see if they send it back marked "That is not the name of our country, you must mean some place else", but it is claimed that they do.

eSwatini is already the name of the country in siSwati, which is the primary official language. We'll have to see whether it catches on in English usage, and how the country is alphabetized if it does.

The <e> is a case prefix, and should properly be ignored in alphabetization. After all, if you were looking for information on the Zulu language, you would go to the back of the encyclopedia rather than the <I> section for isiZulu.

 

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