Different Traditions: In Africa
In Ethiopia the Karo individuals enhance a young brides beauty by tattooing her abdomen with various signs/symbols.
Most marriages are worked out by the two families, with a civil ceremony securing the agreement. A priest may be present. A divorce is allowed and must also be negotiated. There is also a “temporary marriage”, by oral agreement prior to witnesses. The woman is paid wages, and is not eligible for inheritance, however children of the marriage are legally identified to qualify for inheritance. Priests may marry, however, not eligible for divorce or remarriage.
The Massai people of Kenya grow up with children of their own age. Normally, develop relationships with these people. The bride packs all her possessions and is dressed in her finest jewellery. At the marriage, the father of the bride, spews on the bride head and breasts as a blessing. Then, she leaves her husband, walking to her new home. She never recalls that she will certainly turn to stone. This can be extremely depressing for the bride who is 13-16 years of age and has to leave to her new life. Also, in order to prevent curses, the women of the grooms family will insult the bride.
The Swahilli of Kenya shower brides in sandalwood oils and tattoo henna designs on her limbs/ arms or legs. A elder women will give instructions on how to please the groom.
In another area of Kenya, the highlight of the wedding is the Kupamba, which takes place in the night after the wedding. It is generally a display of the bride. It is very popular because it is an event just for the women and they enter the party they are able to take off their huge shrouds and show off fancy hairstyles and dresses.
For the Samburu tribe, marriage is an unique series of sophisticated ritual. Great importance is given to the preparation of presents by the groom. Two leathers, two copper earrings/jewels, a container for milk, a sheep and a gift for the ceremony. The marriage is wrapped when a bull enters hut protected by the bride’s mother and is killed.
The Himba individuals of Namibia kidnap the bride before the ceremony and dress her in a leather marriage headdress. After the event, she is brought right into the house where the family informs her responsibilities will be as a wife and then afterwards bless her with butterfat from cows. This is to accept that she is now in the family.
The Wodabee of Niger court their cousins for marriage. The male relatives put on powerful amulets which are supposed to enhance their attractiveness to the girl.
The Neur people of Southern Sudan. The groom must pay 20-40 cattle, the marriage is completed only after the wife has birthed two children. If the wife only births one child, and the husband asks for a divorce, he can also ask for the return of cattle or the first child.