News / Legal Brief

Celebrating Heritage Month: The Xibelani Dance

Sep 20,2023

Janine Hollesen - Head of Intellectual Property

In our recent article, we discussed the challenges of safeguarding traditional cultural expressions within conventional intellectual property regimes.

We now explore one of these incredible expressions – the Xibelani dance. This is an indigenous dance performed by the Tsonga women of the Limpopo province. The term ‘Xibelani’ is said to translate to “hitting to the rhythm” in the Xitsonga language which embodies the essence of the dance.

The Xibelani skirt (also known as the Tinguvu) is used in the Xibelani dance and remains part of Tsonga women’s traditional attire.

As discussed in the article, as it stands, legislation in relation to Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions is not yet in effect but if they were, expressions such as the Xibelani dance would be protected as a performance of a traditional work.

The Xibelani dance is not just a dance; it’s a celebration of culture, identity, and tradition, and it continues to enchant audiences with its beauty and history.

Werksmans celebrates and appreciates cultural treasures like the Xibelani dance that enrich our heritage.