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As boys tackled each other for the ball, the girls chanted and danced in praise of chastity. They sang: "Men only want to part your legs. The girls at the front of the queue walked up one by one to a group of women sitting on straw mats. Some girls were as young as four years old. They were told to lie back on the ground while a woman with latex gloves quickly examined them.
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Teenage girls in an African tribe have been ordered to cover up during ritual dances because 'perverted' Europeans keep taking pictures of their bare bottoms. Young virgins have been performing the Zulu Royal Reed Dance for centuries wearing nothing but beads and short fringed skirts. But now King Goodwill Zwelithini has told the girls to put on sarongs or traditional undergarments called umuntsha to cover their buttocks. Zulu virgins perform the Royal Reed Dance in tribute to the king wearing nothing but beads and short fringed skirts. The king added: 'There are times when maidens have to sing and dance and we end up seeing certain private body parts that we're not supposed to see.
To Western eyes, it may seem odd that 2, girls who are here to be sternly lectured about virginity are also heavily pressured to strip off almost every stitch of their clothing. And to the Zulu, the custom makes perfect sense. The proof that a virgin is a virgin is that she is proud of her pure body. Some of the girls dancing before King Goodwill Zwelithini recently even wore beadwork aprons with the words ''intombi nto'' -- ''straight girl'' -- beaded into them. The reed dance is a Zulu and Swazi rite of spring danced before the King every September, when spring comes to the Southern Hemisphere. The year-old King of nearby Swaziland held his on Sept. Besides being a nation-building spectacle, it is a subtle minuet in the struggle for influence between the year-old King and his year-old cousin, Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi, head of the Inkatha Freedom Party.