African Traditional Wedding Essay

African Traditional Wedding


The African marriage rites are extremely significant to the African populace. Moreover, the marriage rites are adhered to austerely and are normally extremely traditional. Marriage is considered as the commencement of the new life as two people are considered to be one. Within the African Traditional Religion, marriage is normally precious prolificacy and is correspondingly envisioned for the purpose of procreation.  Marriage entails relational associations and intercommunity relations (Lugira, 34-78). The underlying endurance of kinship within the social structure relies on marriage and starts strong bonds amidst the individuals belonging to diverse families and clans particularly when the offspring are born. The community normally looks for lives up in the process of seeking either wife or the corresponding son-in-law.

An individual with good moral qualities, hard-working within the physical work are expected to be reverential towards their corresponding elders and a good repute (Martin & Shelly, 67-145). Physical attractiveness is not of great concern in regard to the community’s prospects thus making the fecundity to be the fundamental requirement within the African Traditional marriage. The proposal had fewer chances in case the woman or the corresponding within her underlying family was disbelieved of being infertile. Moreover, the wedding process was also slowed down in circumstances of suspicion of activities such as witchcraft, infertility, impotence and bad character. The main drive of marriage in the African wedding was the social reproduction of the relationship group.

The whole community inclusion of the living and the defunct are normally involved in the marriage process (Rivers & Nicole, 134-205). There exist particular rituals and taboos that ought to adhere to marriage and the respect of the underlying in-laws coupled with the observance of the distance amidst in-laws. Prayers and sacrifices are provided to the prevailing ancestors on behalf of the underlying groom and the corresponding bride. Fertility and healthy are normally considered fundamental in the African marriage wedding. A marriage ceremony within the African Traditional Religious is normally considered as a fundamental process for the whole community (Foster & Donald, 89-123).

Numerous ceremonies and rituals are normally performed over the period and at diverse locations. Moreover, the underlying stages of marriage vary from community to community and involve fundamental stages. The stages ensure that the exist companionship amidst the groom and the corresponding bride, engagement is normally undertaken and the bride affluence is granting to the bride’s family (Worth & Robert, 89-112). This was because it was the main way of offering rights to the offspring at their corresponding home of origin and devoid of the bride affluence no man is expected to claim offspring.

Dowry was also granted to aid the underlying families of the prevailing couple getting married since the families lose the contributions to their corresponding families. There are also diverse forms of marriage such as monogamy and polygamy. Monogamy is normally a kind of marriage where a man stays devoted to a single woman and the children were depicted as being extremely fundamental efficacious and marking of the significance (Martin & Shelly, 67-145). Conversely, polygamy is a kind of marriage where a man was having numerous wives and the man was to love the underlying wives equally. Moreover, the senior wife was granted preferential treatment and is commonly known as a levirate union.


Africa is a vast and varied continent comprising some of the renowned oldest civilizations in the universe. It is normally considered as the origin and the home of a broad diversity of the spiritual and cultures. Moreover, the colorful diversity is normally reflected within African diverse and intriguing weddings traditions (Lugira, 34-78). Wedding tradition is indicative of the African continent in regard to the significance of the family.

An African wedding entails bringing together of the dual populace as a single family or combining of the dual families mixture of the corresponding dual tribes into a single family unit. Moreover, the underlying perception of the family is seen as one of the acts of unification of philosophies of the African continent. There exist numerous cultural units within Africa and every culture and tribe possesses its own wedding and matrimonial traditions. Numerous wedding and marriage traditions are traced for their origins back generations and centuries.

Moreover, numerous diverse religious are exemplified within Africa. Several northern Africans particularly that have been influenced by the underlying Muslim traditions whilst the southern part of Africa is occupied by the Christian, Hindu and the Jewish traditions that are intermingled with the underlying prehistoric traditions (Rivers & Nicole, 134-205).

Within numerous places within Africa young ladies are normally trained to be good wives from the onset of an early age. This enables them to learn the prevailing secret codes coupled with secret languages that permit them to talk other supplementary married women devoid of their husbands’ comprehension. Depending on the part of the Africa wedding ceremonies are normally very extravagant and possess lasting numerous days.

Frequently massive formalities are held during which numerous couples are normally united in the same period. Within Sudan and other locations along the Nile men pay their wives’ family in sheep and cattle. Frequently, it is cumbersome to pay the underlying family enough cattle though adequate cattle normally remain to assist their new life (Lugira, 34-78). Bright festive colors, dance, song, and music are normally fundamental elements of numerous African wedding ceremonies.

Moreover, all the prevailing wedding ceremonies within the African traditions is the main concept of transitioning amidst childhood and corresponding adulthood. Within numerous African cultures, children are mostly encouraged to marry at the early age of fifteen years as soon as they have attained physical adulthood. Divorce is extremely rare within African marriages because most of the prevailing problems in marriages are solved within the families. Frequently whole villages normally engage in aiding the couple in solving the problem thus making the marriage not to collapse.

Marriage is normally sacred in the entire world and is definitely true within Africa regardless of the matters of the prevailing religion or culture and religious beliefs. Numerous cultures possess special totem that is purely designed with the main purpose of reminding a prevailing couple of the cultural and corresponding tribal differences that ought to be allowed in order to make succeed.


            Across entire Africa, traditional cultural weddings are presently fading away because of the influx and normalization of the corresponding White Western weddings. There are glaring richness and significance of continuing African weddings coupled with stumbling of the culturally disparaging practice of the corresponding mimicking of the traditions of the West.

African society is a mixture of culturally different traditions and corresponding rituals. Understanding of the African wedding traditions demands the study of every country, regions, tribes and cultural traditions. The traditions ought to take into consideration peculiar traditions within the group and the corresponding ones that are not in line with the African traditions.  Moreover, jumping of the broom is frequently mistaken as the African custom. it is normally considered as fundamental within the African traditions and taken away of sweeping away of the bad feelings in regard to the ancient union of American slaves (Worth & Robert, 89-112).

There are some particular similarities that are normally drawn amidst some of the African cultures in regard to weddings. African weddings are commonly known to be basic family affairs and are frequently reliant on the association between the man and woman and the corresponding family input and endorsement (Foster & Donald, 89-123).  Marriages within Africa are powerfully dictated by the underlying religious inspirations.

Numerous Northern African marriages are commonly unquestionable on their Muslim faith whilst other supplementary religions normally follow the traditions that are stipulated by their respective ethnic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Hinduism (Rivers & Nicole, 134-205). Moreover, the same tradition within numerous sections of Africa normally emolument dowry before to marriage such as South Africa where lobola and gifts of cattle are normally paid to the family of the bride

Celebrations of the food and dance are an extremely common theme amongst African weddings. Frequently wedding celebrations normally last for hours to many weeks. The kinds of food obliged during the underlying occasions fluctuate from state to region depending majorly on the prevailing local food trends. For instance, the guests of the Ghanaian wedding might enjoy a popular celebratory dish that is commonly called Oto, which is organized with the onions, tomatoes whilst visitors of the Somali wedding may be preserved to the corresponding confectionary called Xalwo.

Moreover, the major characteristic of marriage merriments within Africa encompass gratification of music and dance. A wedding within the tribe of Yoruba is normally carried out by carrying out by playing of the corresponding iya’lu dundun, which incorporates drum that is mainly utilized for extraordinary occasions commonly in wedding ceremonies.  It is normally accompanied by instrumental music, songs that depicts joy and religion is frequently undertaken by the juju artist. Within Nigeria, an individual normally listens to the Mo siege and Halleluiah to commemorate wedding ceremonies (Martin & Shelly, 67-145).

Within Ghana, the influence of the family and corresponding religion is normally ostensible within the wedding ceremonies undertaken. This is carried out in three precise steps that last for a period of one month. The first and initial step entails performances of the Knocking by the prospective groom and the elder male members in the bride’s homestead. Moreover, this period they normally come with alcohol that is utilized in the libation process and money is also presented to the underlying brides’ family to depict the intentions of the groom by interviewing.

This is subsequence by the interview and in case of groom is unknown to the family of the bride they normally employ the interview as the sole opportunity of knowing better the groom and his corresponding family (Chidester, 45-67). They also prepare the list of the required gifts and the groom’s family in the process before the actual wedding or engagement process. The eventual stage of the wedding ceremony is normally engagement which is taken as the real wedding ritual. Prior to the invitation of the guests, the involved families normally undertakes introduction and prayer process and the corresponding entreated gifts normally succumb to the endorsement.

In the process, the groom is not permitted to speak and the bride is concealed. In case the list is allowed the bride is exposed and she ought to approval to marry the groom.  The consent of the bride is utilized to give the groom ring, which is followed by prayers and presentations of the Bible that symbol the significance of the religion within marriage (Rivers & Nicole, 134-205). This is normally followed by the westernized church wedding. During the process of engagement ceremony, the wedding party wears traditional garments of the kente cloth whilst the bride wears a headwrap, boubou or skirt with a bubba cloth and the corresponding groom within the boubou. The wedding attire normally varies from the regions.

The prevailing union in regard to the man and woman normally comes with the celebration of the natural continuousness of life.  Marriage is considered as the sole incubator that raises the balance of the socially functional offspring (Worth & Robert, 89-112). Nevertheless, within all existing communities bride is normally charged with extremely special responsibility and is handled with a lot of respect because of the underlying connection between the unborn and corresponding ancestors. Moreover, the bride holds an extremely powerful position in regard to the children. In particular parts of East Africa, the groom’s family normally relocates to the bride village.

It is cumbersome for the populaces emanating from the outside part of the African continent to comprehend the prevailing love marriage traditions in regard to the local culture and the age of the marriage traditions coupled with customs that are part of the normal life (Chidester, 45-67). Comprehension of the particular social and traditional associations amidst states of great Africa is cumbersome even though they normally seem to be the same in many ways.

The social and traditional association of Africa is similar in religion section whilst the customs and culture differences amidst the region’s stages of advancement, ethnic groups, and tribes, which possess important details. Traditional weddings and the corresponding pre marriage rites of passage for the underlying youths that is boys and girls extends to the prevailing family based values and are significant in constructing new unit through marriage. Moreover, the worth of virginity for the girls and boys, wedding anathemas, affection and corresponding respects polygamy.

The engagement of the older family members in the preparations process of the wedding decisions are mainly entrenched into the prevailing culture and is still play a fundamental role within the modern African society (Foster & Donald, 89-123). The underlying young Africans adhere to the old traditions that foster family values in order to make them belong to the fragment of the prevailing community and grants than with the forte and pride to recognize with the changing system. Systems dynamism and populace have their social resources within African traditions, which aid philosophy in filling the gaps amidst the recently shifted configurations of the social mosaic of the people dwelling within it.

African Marriage rites are extremely significant to the African populace and they are sternly followed. Within African, Religion marriage is normally a cherished fecundity and mainly intended for procreation purposes (Foster & Donald, 89-123). Marriage entails relational associations and corresponding intercommunity relations. Survival of the kinship within the social structure relies on the marriage and mainly established on the strong bonds that coexist amidst the individuals belonging to diverse families particularly when the offspring are present.

Community normally lives to their expectations in the process of seeking wife or in-son- laws. They normally require people with good moral qualities, hard-working in regard to the somatic work, respectful to the elders and better character (Rivers & Nicole, 134-205). Moreover, physical desirability is not the community’s anticipations. Fertility is the fundamental demands within marriage and there are limited chances of the proposal in case either of the couples is suspected to be infertile.

Conclusion and Recommendations

In regard to African weddings, traditions rely massively on the underlying culture of the religion and the populace involved. Some weddings take the form of the long-held practices that pertain to engagement, symbols, ceremonious and clothing whilst others have moved away from embracing and reflecting customs from diverse parts of the world (Chidester, 45-67). African society is a mixture of culturally different traditions and corresponding rituals. Understanding of the African wedding traditions demands the study of every country, region, tribes, and cultural tradition. The traditions ought to take into consideration peculiar traditions within the group and the corresponding ones that are not in line with the African traditions.


Work Cited

Lugira, Aloysius M. African Traditional Religion. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 2009.

Onyefulu, Ifeoma. Here Comes the Bride!: An African Wedding Story. London: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 2007. Print.

Chidester, David. African Traditional Religion in South Africa: An Annotated Bibliography.         Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 1997. Print.

Foster, Helen B, & Donald C. Johnson. Wedding Dress: Across Cultures. Oxford [u.a.: Berg,       2003. Print.

Okonkwo, Emmanuel. Marriage in the Christian and Igbo Traditional Context: Towards an             Inculturation. Frankfurt is Main [u.a.: Lang, 2003. Print.

Martin, Katie, & Shelly Hagen. The Everything Wedding Book: Your All-in-One Guide to             Planning the             Wedding of Your Dreams. Avon, Mass: Adams Media, 2011.

Worth, Richard, & Robert Asher. Africans in America. New York: Facts On File, 2005.

Killian, Caitlin. North African Women in France: Gender, Culture, and Identity. Stanford, Calif: Stanford Univ. Press, 2006. Print.

Salami-Boukari, Safoura. African Literature: Gender Discourse, Religious Values, and the           African Worldview. New York: African Heritage Press, 2012. Print.

Rivers, Sabrina, & Nicole Hollander. The Tax-Deductible Wedding: More Wedding and Fun,       Less Fret and Debt. Guilford, Conn: GPP Life, 2010.

Levine, Laurie. The Drumcafé’s Traditional Music of South Africa: Cd. Johannesburg: Jacana      Media, 2005.   Sound recording.

Brown, Lee M. African Philosophy: New and Traditional Perspectives. Oxford [u.a.: Oxford       Univ. Press, 2004. Print.




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