Young Women in Contemporary Zulu Society

by Sandra Klopper
University of Cape Town

Young Zulu women wearing short cotton skirts decorated with beaded garments during the Reed Ceremony. Photo by Sandra Klopper.

In some cases, the girls attending the Reed Ceremony have also begun to wear short cotton skirts, sometimes with beaded details, or skirts made from strands of variously colored wool. Apart from being relatively inexpensive to produce, garments of this kind cover the wearer more fully, a factor of some consideration in a society where previously accepted moral values are being challenged by young people exposed to an educational system rooted in Christian assumptions regarding the body, shame, and sin.