Zulu men in their warrior attire.

Although it is no longer a war dance, indlamu still involves two members of the Zulu community in full warrior attire. These men wear protective amabeshu hoods of thick leather skins, head rings and headdresses, rattles on their ankles, and weapons like spears and “knobkerrie” clubs. Indlamu represents a great physical challenge to dancers: Men use their weapons in the dance, rhythmically fighting imaginary foes. Like for many other African tribal dances, the primary musical instruments of indlamu are drums, although whistles are used as well. It is a dance of precision timing—both participants must hit their feet on the ground in exact time with the beat. They then must be able to lift their feet entirely above their head to stamp downward. Control of the body is paramount, as both dancers are expected to be in sync with each other while also demonstrating good form when they strike with their weapons at certain intervals. Usually at a Zulu wedding, the indlamu dance will be followed by another gender-specific dance, the ingoma , where women dance in time while men clap.



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