This controversial horn raised quite a storm at the 2010 FIFA, escaping a ban by a mere whisker. But if you are missing the drone already, a history of the vuvuzela just might help.

What Is The Vuvuzela Drone

If there was anything that stole the show from the recently concluded season of football, it undoubtedly was the vuvuzela. The sound of the vuvuzela echoed all across, almost incessantly, even penetrating our living rooms when the matches were on, and showed no signs of subsiding. The constant high-decibel drone of the horns blaring in the background with complete abandon was indeed hard to miss. Resembling the amplified sound of a giant swarm of livid hornets, it emanated from the vast multitude of fans playing away on them in the thick of all that action. No wonder its detractors stirred up a hornet's nest.

The USP of this rather insignificant looking basic plastic horn is that it helps make a lot of noise - literally and metaphorically, too, in what can probably be seen as a reflection of South African culture. Blowing the horn, dancing and great wingding is what epitomizes South Africa’s celebratory tradition. Fans sound the horns to encourage their favorite players into action. The drone certainly had the power to compel some from the audience (if not the players themselves) to flourish earplugs and shield themselves from the ear-splitting noise.

The term vuvuzela applies to the plastic versions. In the earlier times, the kudu or antelope horns were used to create such rambunctious noise. The article below retraces the early origins of this horn. Read on. 

History Of Vuvuzelas

This modest, albeit powerful, plastic horn had an equally strong group of supporters batting for it when a hue and cry was raised against its proliferation at the FIFA games. Cultural advocates vindicate the vuvuzela which is representative of the South African ethos. They contend that the horn is no tool for vandalism but a traditional and cultural symbol. The defenders, too, have a valid point. With the matches played in South Africa, the natives were bound to have been piqued if they were forbidden from showing their fervor in the national flavor. Since the last fifteen years, vuvuzelas have been used by South African soccer fans in one form or the other. The introduction of the cheaper and easily available plastic horns really popularized it.

Kudus are sacred to the Zulu tribe and its horns have a religious significance. These horns symbolize the fertility power of the Celtic shaman god Cernunnos, whose name means “one who wears the horns”. They were used as a manifestation of the horned God who was touted to be as powerful as an unstoppable charging antelope herd. The two horns embody the supreme leader, his martial prowess and divine origins. They also symbolize the powers of sorcery.

The use of animal horns find resonances outside Africa, too. The shofar used in the Middle East is the same thing. It dates back to Biblical times. Both Christian and Jewish religions accord a substantial amount of significance to it. The horn, therefore, was used in ceremonial rites in many different cultures. The two horns coming out of the antelope's head are believed to be symbols of full initiation.

The horns are never shed by the antelopes as they grow continuously. The vuvuzela is called the descendent of the kudu or the antelope horn. The instrument is used to gather the collective community for a spiritual purpose and not only for sport. African folklore has it that a baboon is killed by a lot of noise. Hence the blowing of the vuvuzelas becomes more frantic as the game advances, signifying the defeat of opponents. 

The earlier versions of vuvuzelas were made of tins and now they are made of plastic. Love it or hate it, you have to accept that vuvuzelas became an integral part of the 2010 World Cup. Just mute the TV as you watch the replays and see if the game remains as much fun!

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