We were received by George and immediately made to feel welcome and comfortable in a rural environment.
We received a traditional Xhosa welcome with song and dancing. The meaning of each song and crossing over a red blanket was explained.
The men were allowed into the kraal, (women stood outside) the place where the cattle are kept at night and all major meetings are help. Meetings to negotiate 'labola' - the price of a bride, the wedding ceremony, celebration of the birth of a new member of the clan and any other important events.
The celebrations are accompanied by the slaughter of an ox or goat and the consumption of copious amounts of home brewed traditional beer, which intensifies over seven days to give a mighty kick.
The men were then taken to place were teenage boys are circumcised and coached to manhood. The women were taken to the place where young girls are coached to womanhood.
The tour then moved to the communal 'kitchen' where our lunch was being prepared. The preparation of the traditional meals was demonstrated before we moved to the dining area where the meal - pot bread, lamb stew, beans & samp (crushed corn kernels), pumpkin and wild spinach was served.
After the meal we were treated to more singing and dancing.
The presenters were members of the clan and residents at the traditional village. The experience was authentic with many cultural details being were shared.
As a South African the experience has helped me to better understand the Xhosa people and appreciate their culture. Many misconceptions about their culture have accumulated over the years of working with them, but this visit has put them right and I am grateful for the vision of Michael and George.
I can confidently recommend a visit to the Kaya La Bantu Cultural Village to both tourists and local residents.
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