In the tradition of van Gennep anthropologists have studied puberty rites mainly as rites of passage marking changes in status at the crises of life and, more recently, the role which these ceremonies play in the ordering and reordering of social relations. My purpose here is to approach Zulu puberty rites from a different angle: to examine them in the context of a system of beliefs and values underlying a whole group of ritual activities for the welfare of the community—for health, for rain, for fertility in man and beast. This context was suggested to my mind when, a few years ago, I attended a spring ceremonial in the form of hoeing a field in honour of Inkosazana or Nomkhubulwana, a maiden deity. These rites, long thought to have died out, have not only survived in outlying parts of the country, but have lately been revived in many areas, some quite close to Durban. When I heard the songs that were being sung in this ceremony it was suddenly brought home to me that this rite to secure good crops was conceived of in terms of a girl's puberty ceremony. Inkosazana, personification of nature, was symbolized as standing on the threshold of summer like a girl at her puberty ceremony, ready for marriage and procreation. These puberty songs form part also of a number of other rituals associated with Inkosazana rites to combat pests and epidemics and the herding of the cattle for a day by girls, a rite which Gluckman, mistakenly in my opinion, has interpreted as a ritual of rebellion. My main concern in this paper is to present and analyse some of the Zulu girls' puberty songs (reproduced in Appendix II), to show how they are connected with ideas of morality and to indicate briefly the relation of puberty rites to rituals associated with the deity Inkosazana.