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STUDIES OF THE NAZARETH BAPTIST CHURCH IBANDLA LAMANAZARETH
THE STORY OF ISAIAH SHEMBE

TRANSLATED BY HANS-JÜRGEN BECKEN
EDITED BY IRVING HEXHAM AND G.C. OOSTHUIZEN

Copyright Hexham, Oosthuizen, Becken 1995

Published by the Edwin Mellen Press, Box 450, Lewiston, New York, USA, 14092-0450; Tel. 716-754-2266; Fax. 716-754-4056.
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SACRED CLOTHING

125 Dancing uniforms for the women of the Nazaretha Church

1.1 Before Shembe was to leave this earth he called two ladies, Nela Buthelezi and Nondayiso Dlamini, and he also called me. He told me to go and to get brightly shining black wool. When I brought it, he said: "Nela, make a belt and pierce it four times with the needle, and then do the same backwards again. Make two belts of about one yard each."

1.2 While she did this, he told me to get hairy black wool. When I brought it, he said: "Nela, make a belt with holes and pierce it six times, and then do the same backwards again." While she did this, he told me to get a yard of black material. When I brought it, he said: "Nela, place it down and measure it to your belt."

1.3 She placed it down, and it was of the same length. He said: "Now sew the belt and the cloth together. Then take the two belts, which you have made first; place one of them on top of the cloth at the corner of the cloth, and the other one also, so that they may cross each other in the midst of the cloth."

1.4 While she did this, he told me to bring some hairy black wool. When I brought it, he said: "Nela, cut a piece of half a yard's length, fold it and fix it to those holes in the lower belt." While she did this, he told me to bring some black wool and some red wool. When I brought it, he said: "Nela, make five mixed bundles and fix them in the midst of the lower and the upper corner."

1.5 When she had fixed them, he said: "Thank you, my child; this will be the dancing outfit for the women." Then he said: "You, Matsheketshe, shall sew these dancing uniforms for the women, and they shall pay you money for them." Then he said to me: "Go and get two yards of material and two towels and bring them to me."

1.6 When I brought them, he called Nela and told her to iron these materials. When she had done this, he gave to Nela and to Nondayiso each two yards of the material and one towel and said: "Go and take off your skirts and put these shawls on, and underneath put these towels."

1.7 They did this, and when they came back, he said: "My children, the time will come, when all maidens will dress in this way, and the women will dress in this uniform; they will wear skin petticoats and they will wear topknots on their heads."

1.8 This prophecy was fulfilled, when the new lord was sitting on the throne and said: "A woman, who does not wear a topknot, is not perfect." Then all the women dressed in skin petticoats and had top-knots on their heads.

(Muntuwezizwe Buthelezi)