Photos Wearing the animal skins of her husband, the bride performs a dance in which she symbolically takes on his name and accepts his ancestral line. Adorned in the regalia of his forefathers, the bridegroom arrives in dress that indicates his origin, rank and nature of the ceremony. His cheetah skin head ring, worn only by married men, denotes his status equivalent to that of the head of a village. Clad in skirts made from animal tails strung with fig tree fibres, and covered with beaded talismans, the groom’s party swing their oxtail whisks and shields to the beat of a war chant. Assuming his ritual role as clan chief for the day, the groom leads his entourage in a series of dances that recall times when Zulu clans, or even blood relatives feuded for superiority over each other. The bride and her maid of honor kneel with their heads down and eyes lowered as a sign of respect to the family of the groom. At right, the bride kicks her leg high, symbollically showing the her mother she is a virgin. At left, a male relative of the groom dances to express the ritual antagonism between the wedding parties. The groom’s uncles act as honorary custodians of the nuptial trousseau. In this case they are identical twins whose occurance in Zulu culture is regarded as extremely lucky. Among the gifts received in the kraal at this wedding are a king sized wedding bed and crystal and china dinnerware, behind which the newlyweds proudly sit. The elongated headdresses of femle wedding guests are reminiscent of the hairstyle of their ancestors. Married Zulu women insert ear plugs of a mosaic design to ensure that “the ears of the mind may also hear”. Their traditional headdresses, originally made from their mothers’ hair, are received as a gift on the day of their marriage.