The dowry, are we talking about it?
There are customs that cross the centuries! Whether in North, South, East, Central or West Africa, dowry is still often essential. It is an important institution in the celebration of marriage in our African societies and deserves our full consideration. It is important to specify the meaning of this tradition, double, according to whether it is put in the mouth of the West or that of Africa. In the West, the dowry is made up of the goods that the wife brings to the marriage, although they belong to her.
In Africa, the dowry is paid by the fiancé to enter into his matrimonial rights. It makes it possible to seal the union between two families. In general, the traditional African wedding comprises three important stages: the meeting and the introduction of the two families, the official presentation of the gifts, and the rite of union itself. The ceremony takes place in the family of the woman who is in the spotlight. Its goal is to unite two families through the sacred bonds of marriage. In many cultures in Africa, it is usually the uncles and aunts of the fiancés who preside over this ceremony, and not their own parents.
The ceremony can last 2 hours as well as 2 days. The two families, who each have a spokesperson, participate in a traditional role-play full of humor. The very precise rules are explained as they go by the master of ceremonies. Which especially checks that all the elements indicated on the dowry list, established by the family of the future wife, have been brought, and presents them to the whole family. The husband then officially hands over the
symbolic gifts which vary according to the cultures (alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, cloth loincloths, costumes, shoes, money ...).
In addition to this, you need to know more about it.
It should be remembered that for the money received by the family of the bride is considered testimony, legal proof of marriage. The dowry also represents mutual respect, dignity and love between man and woman.
But, as with all traditional customs, it is exposed to abuse in the modern world and unfortunately for some families the purpose of the dowry is to enrich themselves. For these families, the dowry is a way to easily earn money, pay bills, pay debts or even build a new house.
These abuses are proof of great ignorance because it is clearly stated during the ceremony that
what is brought does not represent a purchase by the woman but seals the alliance between the two families. Considering the payment of the dowry as the purchase of a wife is one of those insulting ideas! Today in some African families, the dowry is refused because it can create tensions between the bride and groom and weaken the future household which would consider this dowry as heritage. Despite everything, the dowry remains a custom that is still popular because it promotes harmony between the married couple and their families, while also establishing a sense of dignity and mutual aid which can be useful in marriage and help. to a harmonious union.