Wedding traditions in Africa. Customs, rituals, costumes, and more

Africa is a very diverse region in terms of culture, religions, beliefs, and in wedding traditions, which spread throughout all nations and sometimes to ancient superstitions, which can have meanings and symbols in each place.

Wedding traditions in Africa are a sample of the richness and diversity in all these aspects. Which have spread from the mixture of all the indigenous and characteristic elements of religion. So get to know all the most interesting facts.

Wedding traditions in Africa

Union Of Different Tribes

Wedding traditions of Africa

In the most hidden areas of Africa, where indigenous tribes still prevail. Marriage has an extremely essential family value, especially because of their beliefs. Since the union of two people will allow them to reproduce and create a strong bond with nature.

But where it acquires more relevance is in the areas of large ancestral tribes. Many of which have remained intact since ancient times. When two people from different tribes get married, they can bring fortune from both ends and it is a very emotional moment.

Community Marriages

There are times when several people from the same community get married at the same time. An act that was born out of necessity but later became a sign of local union. Where love has touched the hearts of several members of the same community. region.

When less favored families wanted to have a wedding ceremony but did not have enough resources to organize it, a fund was created to collect money from donations and thus several couples took advantage of it at the same time. But now it is a tradition.

Family Organization

The most modern weddings have taken a very detailed and meticulous organization tradition. Where the bride’s family is fully dedicated to all the planning of the ceremonial act. Including the parties and celebrations that take place before, during, and after.

That is why the wealthiest families, generally those with the local or regional power. Invest significant amounts of money for the entire organization process, but those humble families with fewer resources also work together with those they have at hand.

The Kita

Kita is a well-known fabric in much of the African region, which is used to create the dress that the bride will wear at different celebrations. Because some countries have several major events, different outfits with different colors are created.

In fact, each color has a very important meaning, which can range from luck and good wishes to death, so they are chosen with caution. White is the color that cannot be missing, generally for the bride’s dress during the wedding ceremony.

Banquets With Typical Dishes

Food is a very important and distinctive element in all African countries when it comes to wedding celebrations. Not all dishes are the same and vary from one region to another. But there are other delicacies such as cornbread fritters that are common in most.

Almost always a banquet is held where all the guests can eat. In countries like Egypt, they like to open the doors of the celebration venue, so that the members of the community can enter and taste each dish, especially the economically disadvantaged.

The Gifts

If we in the West are not used to something, it is paying to find a wife. In Africa, it is a very common activity and they are called dowries, which work as a kind of tax paid by the groom to the bride’s family for a certain period of time.

The dowries are tied to the economic conditions of the fiancé and cannot be higher than what they earn. Of course, when the marriage contract is made, all the clauses that condition its details are usually drawn up, such as the price and the time in which they must be paid.

The Family Has The Last Word

African laws in each country have become more flexible over the years, but there are still some outdated traditions that can significantly influence the decision of whether two people marry. Almost always, it is the parents of the bride who have the last word.

For this reason, men interested in finding a woman should bring presents to their family, as well as demonstrate their economic conditions so that they can see if they are really a good match. Although of course, depending on the demands of the home culture.

Polygamous Marriages

Polygamy is not penalized in Africa and in almost all countries it is accepted that a man can have up to three wives at the same time. In some regions, it is essential that the first legally married woman give permission for her husband to have other girlfriends.

However, this is a traditional point that has been maintained. Despite this, men today prefer to have only one wife. Since that way they will not have to carry the burden of money which means supporting multiple families at the same time.

Get Married Under The Moon

They say that the moon has a deep-rooted meaning in African weddings because when couples get married in the light of the moon and the stars, they can have much more luck than doing it during the day. In turn, its splendor is considered a religious display.

Superstitions are not exempt from African weddings. So it is very common to see celebrations of marriage ceremonies in the open air, in front of the moonlight as an important attraction, and with the presence of family, friends, and members of the tribe.

Gifts And Gifts For The Family

Another way of paying physical dowries to the bride’s family is through physical gifts. Usually, the head of cattle and some property, if the fiancé has them. These are also tied to the economic conditions and possibilities of man.

He often offers 20 or 30 head of cattle to the bride’s parents. Along with a caravan of gifts for the girl, including dresses, some shoes. And other amulets of religious importance to her family.

Caravans Of Married Couples

In countries like Egypt, caravans are very common and processions are a fundamental part of African wedding traditions. For this reason, the bride is carried on a box, generally in a manner, accompanied by songs and musical instruments.

All those who are in the street join the caravan, sometimes dancing with native dances of the region, while others send out good wishes and omens so that the new family of fiancés can have the best of luck.

Fur Crown

In Namibia, the groom’s family usually gives the bride a fur crown that formalizes her as the future wife of their son. Which is presented and placed during a special ceremony at the time the family has already signed the contract.

When both are already married and go in a caravan to the couple’s new house. Which is usually that of the husband’s parents. The crown is covered with butter as an act of fortune and abundance.

You may also be interested in Wedding traditions in Mongolia, customs, rituals, costumes, and more