AFRICAN TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE

AFRICAN TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE

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Most African traditions require some necessary obligations that must be fulfilled even before getting wedded in the court, church or mosque.

Once a young man and  woman, who fund love in each other and have been in relationship for some time, decide to take their relationship to another level if they feel are compatible, the young man informs his parents about his intention first. He will be asked series of questions about his relationship with the young lady, if he feels that she is a good fit and if she will make a good wife to the man and the family at large; questions regarding her family will be asked also, such as where they come from and their family name. and then go ahead.

After they’ve heard family talk, he brings the wife to-be to visit his family, this is always a good avenue to ask her some questions as regards herself and background, even if they know about her relationship with their son and has been visiting before now, it was not on marriage ground but just friendship level.

They study the way she talks and behaves, if she’s courteous, has good charisma, well behaved, will respect the family members and have good characters; in summary, they want to have a general overview of who she is.

After all the above, the family decides to give consent as to whether or not they’ll like her for a wife in their family or not.

NOTE: This always bring some sorts of disagreement in the family as sometimes the family declines the approval of the marriage.

The young woman also relates her intention to get married to her parents, her parents or family, also follow the same procedure the man’s family took, to ensure that he is a good man, come from a reputable family and if he is going to make a good husband (finding out if their daughter will be in good hands). They also make their decision and give their consent  as to whether the marriage can go ahead.

Once both parties are satisfied with the decision, the man’s family sends a message to the woman’s family to let them know the date they’re willing to accept them on a visit to openly ask for their consent and daughter’s hand in marriage.

The wife’s family gives them the date, and sometimes, couples-to-be are usually given the leverage to choose this date and get back to both parties on their chosen date.

In Africa, the extended family is very important as they are also seen as part and parcel of an immediate family, and also join in decision-making (they are from one father;  this is one of the reasons why family name is so important and to this day most family uses their ancestral or generations past paternal names as their surname and not their immediate father’s name.

The parents, if they are alive and some chosen members of the extended family go for the visit known as “introduction”; and when one parents or both are dead, the extended family pick up the obligation to represent the father or mother as it is mandatory for the man and woman to present their parents.

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The coming together of both family, marks a new family extension as one big family through their children (the couples). The husband to-be’s family introduce themselves and ask the wife-to-be family’s approval and her hand (consent) in marriage, if accepted, a proper date for the traditional marriage (which most people today refer to as engagement today) is fixed and this is where the dowry and bride price come in to play, the husband’s family are given the list of items needed for the dowry, they will also include the bride price in the list. All these     must be ready on the introduction or traditional wedding day as these items will be used as part of the traditional wedding, without the dowry, the husband and his family are still owing the wife and her family, and the wife may not be presented to them, in fact the wedding rite may not take place, and will be assumed that the man does not have their daughter as a wife yet.

The dowry items include; kola-nut, tubers of yam, bridal boxes filled with clothes, underwear, shoes, bags and makeup kits; drinks, umbrella, palm, cereals, oil and fruits and lots more.

Meanwhile some family may decide not to take the bride price but the dowry is very important as a significant part of the wedding. It is after this that most couple decide to go for court, church or Islamic wedding to fulfill their religious wedding obligation.

It’s always a big celebration as people will be invited, after the wedding rites according to their culture demands (the has procedures) the new husband and wife are blessed and prayed for, there’s always lots to eat and drink.

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This Post Has 64 Comments

  1. How fun to read about these marriage traditions.

  2. It’s good to know the culture of other peoples and nations regarding marriage.

  3. I love learning about different cultures and their traditions. What an interesting read.

  4. Thanks for sharing one of the traditional practices of India. However, this is practical in today’s society, given that courtship even happens online.

  5. I would like to take part in an African wedding, it sounds like such an interesting cultural experience. I have attended an Indian wedding before, which was so amazing.

  6. It’s great to know about African culture. And it’s quite similar to my country’s tradition. And to many more other different cultures.

  7. Always fun to read the traditions that rule the world. A wedding and courtship are just one small part of that. Very, very enlightening.

  8. I love reading about different culture and tradition in a different country. This is a great to know about AFRICAN TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE I think there are some similarities tradition with other countries.

  9. As an African, I would like to say that our culture is wonderful and I love it. Thank you for this awesome post.

  10. Quite an informative post on African culture. I love reading content on culture and tradition of different places.

  11. I never attended an African wedding before but seems like they share really awesome traditions. Thanks for sharing.

  12. I am quite interested about marriages in other places and what I don’t like much is the arrange kind of marriage. I also find it disgusting when parents let their kids at tender age marry older people.

  13. Love to read about the different traditions of marriage in different countries, especially in Afirca. I learned something new today!

  14. I really enjoyed your post on African traditional marriage. Every tradition of the world is beautiful but the traditional event like marriage in ingenious peoples like Red Indian, Artificial, Rajisthani, Parkari, Thar Desert etc all are so amazing, but the African tradition looks more rich in culture and tradition.

  15. This is very similar to my culture, the only differences are the marriage items that are required.

  16. Very interesting to learn about African marriage cultures. Never heard about the specifics of dowry before 🙂

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  19. I always love to read about marriage traditions in other places, thank you for sharing this!

  20. This is very different from my marriage experience in America. It is so fun to read about how different cultures do things!

  21. Thank you for describing culture, its new thing to learn

  22. It’s always interesting to learn about other cultures, this tradition of yours is vert wholesome 🙂

  23. Thank you for sharing the African traditions of courtship and marriage. Family and traditions are so very important parts of societies.

  24. I am always interested in how different cultures deal with life events such as marriage and death. Your explanation is wonderful.

  25. Good to know that the wedding is an exceptionally respected tradition within Africa due to their deeply rooted appreciation for the notion of family!

  26. Love your post. I always love reading posts that show the beauty of African culture. Nice one!

  27. I would love to attend a traditional African wedding! The range of traditional dress looks stunning!

  28. You had shared good pieces of information
    Thank you

  29. Every nations have some kind of requirements before a wedding happens, just like here in the Philippines.

  30. Awe, sounds do gorgeous and special. I love learning about international cultural practices!

  31. I see some similarities with how marriage is also conducted in my country but there are definitely unique ones as well. It’s always fun to learn about how other countries practice their culture.

  32. This is so interesting! I love learning about cultures that are different from mine. Thanks for sharing!

  33. Nice to share such cultures
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  34. This is so interesting. I enjoy learning about new cultures and their cutoms so thank you for sharing.

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  36. This is so interesting and I learned a lot about African weddings!

  37. Knowing other places tradition is so much fun and interesting. It is really nice to know their marriage tradition. Anyways, that steam okra looks really yummy with bagoong and vinegar.

  38. That’s quite interesting. I like to know about different cultures around and the world. This was something I had never read about before. Thanks for sharing.

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