Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/508

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47^ Collectanea.

bride, however, did give a chair to him, as well as to his mother, and, I think, to some other women of his relatives. Her attendants also brought forward trunks full of clothes and other articles of the white man's production, which she likewise distributed to the bridegroom's mother and other kinswomen.

The proceedings up to that point had taken some two or three hours. I was called away from the field, and though I returned for a short time, there was then a sort of pause in the proceedings, and I can report little more from personal observation.

It is usual that the bride's father returns an ox out of the lobola, and sometimes he adds other cattle. These usually stand by in view of the assembly while the bride is making her gifts. The bridegroom and his party then rise, move forward and perform a short dance. The programme with which we were furnished, and which was prepared by the Native Affairs Depart- ment, proceeds : " Upon the completion of this preliminary dance, which is done without the usual ornaments, the bride- groom's party retire to dress themselves, in order to return shortly thereafter and perform the real marriage-dance. In the interval the bride is to run away, to be chased and captured by other girls of the bridegroom's party and brought back. This is done m order to ensure the giving of more cattle on account of the bride, and also to elicit the fact as to whether she is cared for or not by the bridegroom's party ; because, if she is not cared for, they will not pursue her, and she will be allowed to go home. The bridegroom's party will thereafter come up in full dress, and dance. This dance being completed, announcements will be made as to the position to be filled by the bride, and a stick, adorned at the head with catskin [not, of course, the skin of the domestic cat, but a native animal], will be handed to her as an emblem of her position, and the tribe will be told by some prominent native that the chief has now married the mother of the tribe."

I regret that we did not witness these, which were some of the most interesting of the ceremonies ; but the day was wearing away and the only trains by which we could get back to Maritzburg were on the point of leaving. A Zulu wedding is