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Updated on August 30, 2015

Google Reed Dance Festival


The drums are beating. Their rhythm is intoxicating. Everyone in attendance is drenched in excitement. The dancers are captivating. Their gyrating bodies move in synchrony with the tall flowing reeds that are tightly gripped in their hands. The dancers dance and dance. But there is nothing innocent about this dance. It is very sensuous. The provocativeness of their dancing is what the spectators have flocked to see. Let's face it, African dances have the potential to be very seducing. The syncopated movements can be even more tantalizing when they are performed by an entourage of 40,000 young African female dancers. Female dancers, whose young bodies are firmed, well proportioned and scantily clad. Practically all of us by virtue of being a sexual being are innately wired to become sexually aroused by the introduction of a mental, visual or auditory stimuli.


The thoughts, the sights and the sounds that erotic dancing arouses is exactly why the King of Swaziland uses the country's eight -day reed dance ceremony to identify the next young lady to be his wife. It is reported that during the eight-day celebration, the young women entertain the King by singing and dancing. Surely, in order to view the dancing moves of so many young women, the King is obliged to appoints agents. Perhaps it becomes the agents' responsibility to observe the participants and decide which one will best please the King. Numerically with such a large number of participants, it is impossible for all of the participants to perform at the same time. Thus the performances are scheduled throughout the eight day ceremony. In addition the scheduling must be amendable to the King's timeline or to the timelines of his authorized representatives.


The King's representatives know that the King is not seeking an intellectual partner nor is the King seeking the comfort of an attentive ear. The King's representatives know that the King's motives are purely sexual. The selection process that the King's representatives employ to whittle 40,000 female dancers down to one prospective wife is moot but it stands to reason that once the number is reduced to a manageable figure, private auditions, are held. The dancer who best ignites and satisfies the aging King's libido is probably the dancer who will be chosen to be the King's next wife.


What the King is doing is nothing new. The New Testament records the story of how Herodias daughter's dancing pleased King Herod. His pleasure was to the point that the King beheaded an innocent man to appease the young lady's request (Mark 6:22-23). The same thing happens today. Men frequently visit gentleman's clubs to have their libidos excited and sometimes gratified. Consequently, dancing is a very powerful intoxicant; it is also one of the reasons why White men were so enamored with African slave women. It was the African woman's ability to manipulate her pelvic area that provided the White male a greater sense of sexual freedom and satisfaction. The same desire to experience a greater sense of sexual freedom and satisfaction is commonly associated with why White women sought the companionship of African males. Traditionally, as children, young African males and young African females are taught how to master the art of pelvic manipulation. But unknowing to them, the art is acquired through the joyful physical activity of learning to perform tribal dances. But one of the fringe benefits of tribal dances is the concurrent acquisition of pelvic control. Astute pelvic control yields its possessor several accompanying benefits.


One of those benefits is that the dancer becomes a highly sought-after sexual partner. Another benefit is that the dancer's body begins to take on certain desirable physical features. In time, these features become an inherited part of the dancer's gene pool. When those genes are influenced by the prolonged physical demands that require repetitive physical actions; the African body conforms to those demands. With time, the genes produce a reproducible body type that is specially suited for the purposes to which the body was conceived. Scientists refer to this process as physical adaptations. While the upper portion of the African female body might not be as defined; the bottom portion of the African female body distinguishes itself with its small waist line, its sculpted thighs and its round protruding buttocks.


Sexually, men of various ethnic groups, find these physical features alluring. Subsequently when these features are manipulated through the art of dance, the dance, and the physical features that they accentuate, sometimes takes on a life of itself. In part, this life accounts for why the business of prostitution in the city of New Orleans is such a lucrative business. New Orleans, long renown as a city of sexual vice, has profited from its African descendants' participation in prostitution and their subsequent love of dance and music. There exist a population of female prostitutes who are also of African descent who originally learned how to manipulate and control their lower pelvic region by mastering various dance moves. Most assuredly, not all of the Crescent City African American female dancers perform for sexual attention. And likewise, not all African or African American dancing has a sexual overtone but the vast majority of African inspired dances do have a visual sexual component. Whether that component is intentional is privy to the dancer and to the one with whom the dancer seeks to influence. The fact is that long ago, the continent of Africa produced a breed of people who were innately capable of rhythmically manipulating different regions of their body while simultaneously maintaining independent control of various other parts of their body. It is noted that the African's ability to perfect this skill far exceeds the physical gyrating abilities of many other ethnic groups. This is why King Herod, the King of Swaziland, and why many White men still desire the physical company of a person of African descent.


On Friday, August 29, 2015, thirty-eight young lives were tragically lost when the open-bedded truck in which they were riding was involved in two collisions. No doubt, all of the young ladies hoped to out perform their counterparts and become the King's next wife. But in order to become the King's next wife; the dancer would have to out danced 39,999 other highly accomplished dancers. Winning, a formidable feat, would change her economic status and hopefully the economic status of her family. However for those 38 who lost their lives there is absolutely no possibility that they will ever win the coveted position as being the King's next wife. They are dead and unfortunately the dead neither marry nor dance. One wonders if the families of these 38 young women will be financially compensated for the lost of their daughters.


I know too little of African culture to intelligently discuss the moral pros and cons of a polygamous society, however, I know enough of human nature to state that the sexual exploitation of any human being should not be tolerated. Universally, it is common knowledge that many culture groups sexually exploit both the female and the male sex; as such, there will always be a social cause for reformers to address. But in the electronic world in which 21st century citizens reside, countries who honor the dignity of all human beings should collectively shun leaders whose sexual libidos and political powers are used as bargaining tools to take advantage of powerless young men and women. For sure, the King will not officially take an additional wife without first partaking of the fruit, and suppose he "likes her not?" What will become of the young lady? Her virginity taken; will she be sent back home? Positively the reed dance will continue. But for those 38 young African females the drums, the singing, the swaying reeds, the pelvic thrusting, the bouncing breasts and the hopes of a better life have all come to an end. Instead, for their families, all that is left is the memory of the tragedy that took place when their daughters left home to dance for the King.


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