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Published on Aug 16, 2011
A uniformed troupe of young girls, accompanied by young men playing drums and xylophone, show the typical sequences of teenage female dancing of the Nkoya people of Zambia. In this genre of dancing, like in the coming-out dance of the female puberty rite, emphasis is on dextrous movements of hips, buttocks and abdomen, accentuated by a thick roll of textile. For such movements the girls receive specific, prolonged training, apparently in preparation of their adult sexual roles. The typical sequence goes from the troupe's entry in single file towards the lead singer, then the occupation of the dancing arena, the adoption of a squatting or kneeling position, then saluting and exit. Held annually since 1988, and organised around a traditional first-fruits ceremony presided over by royal chiefs, the massive Kazanga ceremony is a two-day inventory of musical and dancing genres of the Nkoya people of Zambia, performed by villagers, urban poor and school children, in front of a predominently local audience also comprising national-level politicians, members of the urban elite, and media journalists; for an introduction, see Wim van Binsbergen's text at: http://www.shikanda.net/topicalities/...