The African Perception About Marriage

December 11, 2020 Comment

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Marriage is one of the traditions that cannot be excluded from the African culture. It is regarded as a sacred union of a man and a woman and not only them but a union of their families and unborn children. It is the happiest moment in the lives of parents as their children become of age and decide to find their life partners.

Due to Africans deeply rooted regard and respect for marriage, most people believe it is all about procreation and catering for one’s family since that is the basis or foundation of any society.
In many cultures, until a woman’s bride price or dowry is paid to her family, she cannot live with the man in his home. Also, in some cultures, the marriage can be annulled if the bride price is returned. That would be the only guarantee that the couple have divorced.

The bride price is prioritized in the African culture because it is after its payment that the woman is regarded as the man’s wife. After performing all the customary marriage rites, the woman now moves into her new home and forms her own family with her husband. In some cultures, it is also said that when a woman’s bride price is paid, it brings joy and pride to her parents as they have been able to nurture and train their daughter for marriage.

Many rites are performed in many African and even Western cultures. The Yorubas of Nigeria use vinegar to signify bitterness, lemon to signify sourness, honey to signify sweetness and cayenne pepper to signify hotness. These elements are tasted and it is to tell the couple that throughout their marital journey, they would face good and difficult times and in all this, they should stand firm and support each other.
In India , Mexico and some African cultures, someone is made to tie the knot from the couple’s garment. Some also use the Kente cloth or a string with cowries and this symbolizes prosperity and fertility.

Africans hold marriages in high regard since it is the avenue for companionship, support, procreation and family systems which are the foundation of every society.

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