Maui Wedding Photographer, Wedding Traditions


Wedding Traditions of Africa; Top Ten Crazy Traditions

Across the continent of Africa, you will find all sorts of wedding traditions and customs. From
country to country or tribe to tribe, traditions can be similar to the western world or can also be
of the very odd. Some of the traditions are dealing with evil spirits and some are simply to either
bring good luck or to honor the past. However, some are just really odd. The top ten (and some
honorable mentions) are:
Honorable Mention – The Kenyan tribe of Maasai is a polygamous tribe. However, the female
will not only marry her husband, but will also be considered married to the entire age group.
When a male guest comes to visit, the men of the tribe are looked at to give up their bed. Along
with that, the wife will choose whether or not she will be joining the male guest in that bed. In
the event she becomes pregnant from the guest, the child will be considered as the husband’s.
Honorable Mention – In Sudan’s Southern region, the people of the Neur tribe believe that a
marriage has not been completed until the new bride has birthed two children. However, if she
were only to have one child, the groom is able to seek divorce. He will also receive all the cattle
that he paid to her father for her hand in marriage back to him. The cattle that the groom paid for
her is done as a way to replace the lost labor of the daughter. Sometimes the cost can be almost
as much as 40 cattle.
Honorable Mention – In Ethiopia, once a wedding ceremony is over, the new couple will head
to the groom’s family house where they will begin their honeymoon. The honeymoon can
last upwards to three months and it is also common for the best man to join the couple for the
10 – A bride in Morocco will have her eyes decorated with Kohl, which is a combination of soot
along with other substances. Kohl is thought to have therapeutic qualities to it and was expected
to prevent eye disease. Not only was Kohl used to decorate the bride, but also to prevent off the
evil eye.
9 – In the country of Sudan, when a husband passes away, his widowed wife is presented with
his brother as his replacement to be her new husband. In the event they have children together,
the kids will then be thought of as the deceased husband’s children, and not the brother’s.
8 – It is not uncommon to see in a Zimbabwe wedding the killing of a goat or a cow as part of
their celebration.
7 – In Somalia, a wedding for the tribe of Samburu will not be considered finished until after a
bull is brought to the celebration in the hut. The mother of the bride is responsible to watch the
bull during the ceremony. Afterward, the bull is then killed.
6 – In the event that two male cousins, in the county of Niger, share the same fondness for the
same female cousin of theirs, the female will decide which cousin will become her husband. As
for the cousin that is not selected, he is still welcomed in their home. In addition, if she consents
to it, it is not uncommon for the bride to share her bed with both of the cousins.
5 – In the country of Congo, for the wedding and marriage to be seen as being taken seriously,
the bride and groom are not allowed to smile throughout or even after the ceremony. This will
include all activities of the pre, the during and the post ceremony photos.
4 – In Somalia, in an attempt to deter possible bad luck, the women that are on the groom’s side
of the family will insult the new bride.
3 – For the Somalia tribe called Swahili, an elder woman, also known as a somo, will instruct the
bride-to-be on how to please her husband in a sexual way. To avoid problems, it is common for
this somo to hide herself under the couple’s bed, just in case her help is needed.
2 – At a Somalian wedding ceremony of the Massai tribe, the bride’s father will offer blessings
to his daughter by spitting on her head and her breasts.
Number 1 – Also with the Massai tribe in Somalia, when the bride, who is often between the
ages of 13-16 years old, walks away from the ceremony with her husband going towards their
new home, she is not to look back for the fear that she will turn to stone.