"The Ingonyama chant is one of many ancient battle-cries of the Zulu warriors. Baden-Powell [the founder of the Boy Scouts] first heard this chant in Zululand (now the province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa)." –The African Seeds of Scouting, South Africa

Baden-Powell featured this song in his book, "Scouting for Boys" (1908).

Game Instructions

Instructions come from "Scouting for Boys" by Baden-Powell (1908)...

Scouts' War Dance

Scouts form up in one line with leader in front, each holding his staff in the right hand, and resting his left on the next man's shoulder.

Leader sings the Eengonyama song. Scouts sing chorus, and advance to their front a few steps at a time, stamping in unison on the long notes.

At the second time of singing, they step backward.

At the third, they turn to the left, still holding each other's shoulders, and move round in a large circle, repeating the chorus until they have completed the circle.

They then form into a wide circle, and one steps into the center and carries out a war dance, representing how he tracked and fought with one of his enemies. He goes through the whole fight in dumb show, until he finally kills his foe; the scouts meantime still singing the Eengonyama chorus and dancing on their own ground. As soon as he finishes the fight, the leader starts the "Be Prepared"* chorus, which they repeat three times in honor of the scout who has just danced.

Then they recommence the Eengonyama chorus, and another scout steps into the ring, and describes in dumb show how he stalked and killed a wild buffalo. While he does the creeping up and stalking the animal, the scouts all crouch and sing their chorus very softly, and as he gets more into the light with the beast, they simultaneously spring up and dance and shout the chorus loudly. When he has slain the beast, the leader again gives the "Be Prepared" chorus in his honor and it is repeated three times, the scouts banging their staffs on the ground at the same time as they stamp "Bom! Bom!"

At the end of the third repetition, "Bom! Bom!" is repeated the second time.

The circle then close together turn to the left again, grasping shoulders with the left hand, and move off, singing the Eengonyama.

*Be Prepared Chorus:

Be prepared!
Bom! Bom!

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