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Czech Beads Popular in Shangaan Community

The Shangaan community inhabiting the Gonarezhou National Park use Czech-made beads to decorate their ceremonial dresses.

In line with their tradition, the Shangaan people of South East Zimbabwe held their annual festival on Saturday the 22nd of September, 2012. The Shangaan Community includes 7,000 people who are tightly bound to their living environment of one of the wildest African national parks Gonarezhou. They perfectly understand their surroundings, starting a fire without any modern devices is one of the standard skills mastered by every adult of the community. The Shangaan are immensely proud of their culture and put a great emphasis on their cultural practices.

This year, members of the Czech and US Embassy in Harare, Delegation of the European Union, FAO and other organizations were given the opportunity and privilege to share their festivities. After overcoming long distances, they were rewarded by a wonderful, colourful ceremony including splendid dances of people from all age groups accompanied by the singing to the rhythm of bongos and other musical instruments. Add to that the original smell of traditionally cooked elephant meat and the authenticity of those moments were unbeatable.

Shangaan women like to decorate their ceremonial dresses with ivory and beads. Former as well as existing brands of Czech bijouterie, including Jablonex, are very familiar with Shangaan women. The best dancers of the festival received the prize of beads donated by the Czech company Preciosa. And how did the Shangaan women express their happiness and gratitude for the gift? “Mazhita uluarluluarluluarling…“ It was quite a moving and possiblity the longest and loudest thanking we ever had in Zimbabwe.

ozdobené kroje shangaanských žen