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Marriage traditions of different countries in Africa

For most couples in Africa, marriage is “till death do us part” due to certain deep-rooted traditions that binds not just the bride and groom but their families together.

Bride and Groom


Here are a few wedding traditions of different African countries:

1. Congo: Marriage preparation is all about anticipation and excitement for the bride and groom. But for a Congolese bride and groom, both are required to keep their excitement in check on their wedding day. They must keep a straight face or else they’ll be deemed as unserious about getting married.

2. Egypt: Once the marriage has been arranged, the groom pays the bride price known as Mahr. The money is used to get ‘Shabka’ jewelry for the bride  and furniture. The groom also gets her a ring which she’ll wear on her right hand before the tattoos and henna are applied to the bride’s feet and hands. The women pinch the bride for good luck. After exchange of vows, the newlyweds are made to seat on Kofta chairs raised on a platform. Only two delicacies are served as the wedding meal – Kofta meatballs and rose water drink called Sharpat.

A couple from MauritiusA couple from Mauritius



3. Mauritius: The bride is fattened up for her big day. She required to add weight because the fatter she becomes the better for the groom who is seen as wealthy for have such a well-wife.

4. Kenya: In the Masai tradition, the father of the bride blesses his daughter by spitting in her head and breasts. When going to her husband’s house she must never look back at her father’s house because it’s believed she’ll change to stone. In Swahili, the bride is instructed by an elderly woman or a somo on how to satisfy her husband, the somo then hides under the bed incase any problems occur on in the course of the night.

Bride price in Papua New GuineaBride price in Papua New Guinea


5. Papua New Guinea: The bride pays the groom for marrying her. The bride price includes pigs and shells which are later slaughtered for the wedding feast.

6. Niger: A camel dance is done at the wedding reception with a real camel dancing  to the beat played in the presence of wedding guests


Written by PH

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