Swaziland

Amanda44 / Wikimedia Commons

The Umhlanga Ceremony in Swaziland , South Africa dates back to the 1940s, and was devised as a method to encourage chastity among young women. It has a vague connection to summer camp, when young people share collective experiences away from home. Attended by thousands of young, unmarried and childless women, they gather at the Queen Mother’s royal residence. Off they go, overnight, into the surrounding areas to cut and gather long reeds. The next night, the reeds are bundled together and...