Image 1 of 1


Nobule Ngema, age 16, walks to a nearby river to wash clothes as she's preparing to travel to the annual Reed Dance on September 10, 2004 in Ngudwini village in rural Natal, South Africa. Nobuhle is traveling on a bus, and about 20.000 fellow maidens from all over South Africa are coming to dance for Zulu King Goodwill Zwelethini at the Enyokeni Royal Palace in Kwa-Nongoma about 350 kilometers from Durban. The girls come to the kingdom to declare their virginity and abstain from sex. (Photo by: Per-Anders Pettersson)