Unbelievable! Incwala footage from 1931. The first Incwala in newsreel and sound


It is a known fact that cameras and such gadgets are not permitted inside the kraal where the incwala feast of the first fruits is held. It is for this reason that footage of the ceremony are very few and far between save for a hand full that were privileged to capture it. It goes without saying just how gobsmacked we were when we happened upon this vintage clip of the incwala ceremony that took place in 1931.


Each and every event of the incwala has not changed through time as the 1931 incwala ceremony also started with the pilgrimage of young warriors emabutfo to collect young saplings of the shrub known as lusekwane.


The warriors then use the lusekwane to build a special kraal where a black bull is driven inside, this is where they then collectively deliver blows from their fists until the bull is dead. This part of the ceremony is so scared to the festival that no sound footage was ever recorded of it and amazingly no visual footage exists since this particular clip.


The young king Sobhuza II then joined the warriors in singing and dancing known as kugidza and just as in today’s incwala ceremony that started in the country a few days ago, the traditional regalia has remained the same as the men were clad in imidada and sigeja and the ladies in their tidvwaba and tidziya.


Judging from the footwork in that this generation of Swazis in the video are doing, one can only assume that the songs sung are quite similar if not exactly the same to today’s incwala. It is easy to assume this since upon intense scrutiny, the ceremony is quite similar to today’s event.

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