Swaziland Digital
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Swaziland photos


 
1890's - photos 71 to 80 of 83.
About the 1890's

 
147.  Porto Henrique
1890's
Photographer: Joseph Raucher    Photo Source: National Archives

Porto Henrique, the highest tidal point on the Tembe River from Delagoa Bay.
150.  Bremersdorp court house fort
1898
Photographer: Joseph Raucher    Photo Source: Millin family

Bremersdorp Courthouse, fortified with sandbags against a potential Swazi rebellion. The original title of the photo is "Fort Funk". Fort Funk was piled up like this in October 1895 when Bhunu started to dance the Mbhenga in preparation for war. The Ndhlovukazi died, or was conveniently poisoned, at that time and her death brought the nonsense to a halt.
548.  bird scaring
1890s
Photographer: Unknown    Photo Source: National Archives

Sorghum was the staple diet of the Nguni people before maize was introduced from South America. The edible part was exposed, unlike maize which is covered, and the crops had to be watched all day to avoid large flocks of birds eating the food. Platforms were built to get a better view of the fields.
549.  the colonial experience
1890s
Photographer: Unknown    Photo Source: Swaziland Digital Archives

This is a photograph showing the beginning of the colonial experience when settlers first arrived with ox wagons. They unloaded seeds, supplies, pitched tents, built huts and then took over the country before you could say Queen Victoria. This is the Holtmann / Forbes coffee plantation on the top of the Lemombo mountains before the Boer War of 1899-1902. The coffee venture failed, but the gums and wattles that Holtmann brought thrived.
630.  Dance of the Maidens
1895
Photographer: Unknown    Photo Source: National Archives

This photo was taken at Mbekelweni in 1895. The photo shows an early dance, probably part of the umcwasho ritual where young maidens dance before the Queen Mother or Indlovukazi. This ceremony later developed into the Reed Dance or Umhlanga of today between the early 1940s and the mid 1950s. Originally the ceremony was an age ranking ritual. After a number of years of wearing a large tassel signifying virginity young maidens were allowed to remove it as a member of a particular age group - this showed that they could be married. The photographer is unrecorded, but likely to be Joseph Raucher, because of the excellent quality of the original and he was in the region at the time.
631.  Umcwasho Maiden
1895
Photographer: Unknown    Photo Source: National Archives

This photo was taken at Mbekelweni in 1895. The photo shows a young woman before marriage, she is probably part of the umcwasho ritual where young maidens dance before the Queen Mother or Indlovukazi. Originally the ceremony was an age ranking ritual. After a number of years of wearing a large tassel signifying virginity young maidens were allowed to remove it as a member of a particular age group - this showed that they could be married. The photographer is unrecorded, but likely to be Joseph Raucher, because of the excellent quality of the original and he was in the region at the time.
632.  Umcwasho maidens
1895
Photographer: Unknown    Photo Source: National Archives

This photo was taken at Mbekelweni in 1895. The photo shows four unmarried maidens wearing umcwasho around their necks. After a number of years of wearing a large tassel young maidens were allowed to remove it in a dance before the Queen Mother or Indlovukazi and they were then able to get married. This ceremony was elaborated between the1940s and mid 50s into the ceremony of Umhlaga or Reed dance as performed today when maidens wear colourful umcwasho. This custom was institutionalised in the mid 1980s when the Prime Minister, Prince Bhekimpi made it mandatory for all maidens to wear the umcwasho daily. The ruling did not survive his term in office.
634.  Embekelweni
1895
Photographer: Unknown    Photo Source: National Archives

This photo shows the daily clothing worn by girls before puberty in the late 19th century. Photograph probably by Joseph Raucher.
635.  Girls carrying wood
1895
Photographer: Unknown    Photo Source: National Archives

Three girls in a very posed photgraph carrying wood, a daily chore at the end of the 19th century. The plant in the background is bamboo, showing the early introduction of exotics which included wattle and gum. Photograph probably by Joseph Raucher.
636.  umcwasho maidens
1895
Photographer: Unknown    Photo Source: National Archives

A group of young girls in 1895 at Embekelweni wearing the umcwasho costume prior to dancing. The photograph was probably taken by Joseph Raucher.

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