Mmegi Online :: Puberty, wedding, polka dances missing at WCKA festival
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Last Updated
Tuesday 22 January 2019, 16:30 pm.
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Puberty, wedding, polka dances missing at WCKA festival

This year’s Western Kgalagadi Cultural Association (WCKA) Festival held in Kang looked incomplete without popular dance genres on the lineup.
By Thalefang Charles Fri 19 Dec 2014, 10:12 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Puberty, wedding, polka dances missing at WCKA festival








The 13 groups that made the trip to Kang were Badirammogo from Maake, Inalegolo, Phuduhuu Tshwara from Kokotsha, Xalaxwa from Bere, Future from New Xade, Valley from West Hanahai, Ipeleng from East Hanahai, Uxhauta from Zutshwa, Zowa from Monong, Dipapo from Ukwi, Mothalawangwao from Honhukwi and Ngwate, but did not feature the wedding, puberty and polka dances.

The most common dances displayed were the healing trances, hunting and gathering as well as game dances.

The healing dances were performed around the fire on Friday night.  

These famous dances are said to be performed for various rituals such as for land, weather, animals, foretelling the future, intercession for good hunting and gathering seasons, and general well being of people.

At this year’s festival all groups performed the trances very well. The mostly young dancers experienced the near-trances as they sweat amid deep breathing and had veins bulging from their forehead and necks. Some even screamed through the dance process as the trances reached orgasmic levels.

The hunting and gathering dances attempt to show the important lifestyles of the people of the Kgalagadi.  They show women gathering while men hunting various animals.

Lately these groups have depicted change

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in the hunt within the Basarwa communities.  Since government imposed the hunting ban the communities have resorted to hunting in secret and eating their kill in the bush. This is depicted in various dances, as the meat is not taken home but eaten at the kill spot to evade capture and avoid authorities.

The 2014 festival, however, missed the exciting puberty dances also known as Ngwale. These are dances performed for the initiation of a girl into womanhood just after her first menstruation, her first rite of passage. 

The dances show a girl secluded during her menstruation in a ritual called ‘eland’ sickness.  The dances are quite exciting as they depict what happens to a girl-child in communities where they do not use sanitary pads.

Another exciting display was of the wedding dances. They show a man proposing a woman and how the elders assist and teach their new couples how to start a family and live together.

Gosiame Ghaengwa from Honhukwe said the reason why there were no other dances was due to lack of preparation.

“We prepared late for this event and such dances require a lot of practice,” said Ghaengwa.

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