African Wedding Traditions

By Robert Topper  |  Every culture has their own wedding traditions dating far back into history. Some of the most interesting of these come from Africa, due to the many different cultures found throughout the region. These can range anywhere from jumping over a broomstick, to Africa brides being kidnapped. Below, are some of the most interesting, unique African wedding traditions practiced - both throughout history and to this day.

Getting the Whole Family on Board

It's not unheard of around the world for a groom to ask a bride-to-be's father for his blessing in marriage. It's also quite common in most cultures for both the bride and groom's families to "amalgamate," or get to know each other on a more personal level. In Ghana, however; this is a much more important and sacred practice.

In Ghana, it is customary for a man to show up to the home of his would-be bride, bearing gifts to whom he hopes will soon become his in-laws. Not only that, the potential groom is generally accompanied by his entire family during the formal visit. This is Known as "knocking on the door." If things go according the man's plan, celebration will be commenced between the two families, honoring their children's near-future wedding.

Ethiopian Bridal Tattoos

In Ethiopia, the Karo - one of the many peoples of the region - will often-times tattoo a new bride with traditional symbols, thought to bring out the beauty of the new bride. In modern times, these tattoos can be found in many places over the body, but traditionally, they're made on the abdomen.

Arranged Marriages

Traditionally, and often-times to this day, arranged marriages are made on behalf of a young teen or woman in Kenya. They are generally coupled with an older man whom they have never met, who comes bearing gifts to the family. After the wedding ceremony, the bride will walk with her husband to her new home. Rumor has is that, should the bride look back whilst walking home, she might turn to stone. 

No, not actual kidnapping. In Namibia, a potential bride will sometimes be temporarily kidnapped, dressed in the traditional wedding attire - consisting mostly of leather - and then brought to where the wedding ceremony is meant to take place. While not forcibly held against her will, it acts almost as a prank on behalf of the groom.

Jumping the Broom

Jumping the broom was - and still is - common in African weddings. Not only practiced in Africa, many African-Americans still to this day "jump the broom" as to celebrate and honor their culture. In fact, depictions of such traditions were fewer and further between throughout history than what they are today. The tradition gained more and more popularity as Africans arrived in the U.S.A.

Jumping the broom isn't meant to be cryptic; it literally consists of African brides walking down the aisle with a broom, which newly-found couples will jump over to seal the deal; much the same way traditional Jewish weddings consist of breaking glass.

These are but some of the many cultural traditions of Africa; a continent with over 50 countries, each with its own vast set of sub-cultures. The above, however; are some of the most commonly seen traditions to this day.

To know more about African wedding traditions

Hi my name is Rob. I write about travel, dating and the African mail order bride industry. In particular I try to help men who are looking to find a wife or African bride in Brazil. Men are not limited to their own area anymore and realized that African brides make the perfect wives. My aim is to help men find meaningful, serious relationships that hopefully it turn into marriage.

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