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September 2, 2012 at 9:19 PM

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Swaziland Reed Dance


The annual Swaziland Reed Dance brings thousands of unmarried girls from all over Swaziland to pay homage to the Swazi Queen Mother, Ntombi Thwala. In recent years Swazi King, Mswati III, has also used the occasion to select a new wife.

Themba Hadebe / AP

Young girls carry reeds as they make their way to the Queen Mother's Royal Palace to deliver them at Ludzidzini in Mbabane, Swaziland, Sunday, Sept. 2, 2012, ahead of Monday's Reed Dance.

Themba Hadebe / AP

Maidens carry reeds as they make their way to the Queen Mother's Royal Palace to deliver them at Ludzidzini in Mbabane, Swaziland, Sunday, Sept. 2, 2012, ahead of Monday's Reed Dance.

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