A pair of Blue Cranes photographed on a recent game drive (see my journal) at the Garden Route Game Lodge located just outside Albertinia, South Africa.
These birds are endemic to South Africa and are also the South African National Bird. From around 1980 it began a sudden population decline and is now classified as vulnerable.
“Indwe” is the Xhoza name for these majestic birds. In Xhoza tribal tradition the feathers of these birds were presented by the Chiefs to honor bravery.
After a battle, the chief would organise a ceremony called “ukundzabela” – a ceremony for the heroes, at which feathers would be presented. Men so honoured – they wore the feathers sticking out of their hair – were known as men of “ugaba” (trouble) – the implication being that if trouble arose, these men would reinstate peace and order. – (wikipedia)