Traditionally bridewealth was given in animals, especially cows and goats. One person said that “ni lazima kupeleka mahari kwenye nyumba ya wazazi, hapo wanapoishi” (It is necessary to send bridewealth to the place where the parents live) (cf. The interview guide was corrected and updated on several occasions due to feedback from the field assistant and the respondents. On the other hand, one person added that “some denominations try to do away with bridewealth believing that bridewealth was causing drift in families”. 2). Africans/Ghanaians, love which is vital in marriage in the Western societies means the state of meeting material needs of children, parents, spouse and close relatives while success is identified to include marriage, children, social recognition and contribution to society (Annabella et al., 2018). Bridewealth was an integral part of marriage procedures. The institution of this practice is the most concrete symbol of the marriage covenant and security” (1969 p. 140). This paper addresses the paucity of research by focusing on South African Zulu society where, among all cultural traditions, the payment of bridewealth (ilobolo) continues to be one of the most salient. In Sub-Saharan Africa where land was abundant and there were few or no domesticated animals, manual labor was more valuable than capital, and therefore bridewealth dominated. The researcher wants to focus on the role that bridewealth plays among selected members of Luo community, who are married or cohabiting together in the area of Nairobi. Those forms are expressed at various points in the life and an individual and the community as a whole. Though much research on bridewealth in sub-Saharan Africa has focused on the negative consequences for women, some studies have Livestock was also a way of increasing personal wealth – it would usually multiply. Marriage was a sacred duty, wanted by God to promote the community. Inability to pay bridewealth was the main reason of such a situation. Thirdly, animals served as evidence that bridewealth was paid. A wide variety of cultural forms testifies to that richness. The parents of the groom would also actively participate in the process of bridewealth. Kam, P. (2004), “No bridewealth, no wife”, In Oyugi, E.(Ed). One respondent said that: “it was a wealth for the family - they get animals, they get milk and respect in the village” (cf. [3] This is evident in marriage ceremonies where both Islamic and Christian marriages will also follow traditional practices adopted from tribal communities or smaller religions. By doing it, one was fulfilling his obligations towards God which made him to be at peace because he was promoting the life-force. One refers to the African tradition of "bridewealth" i.e., the payment of dowry (so many cows or goats) by the man's family to the family of the girl whose hand he was seeking. [8] In contrast to this practice, other African communities such as many Moroccan ethnic groups participate in a marital custom known as “dowry”. The acceptance of bridewealth by the parents meant that they were giving their permission to marry and that they were blessing them. 11). App.#, no. 31.01.09. It would be given in envelopes. The researcher believed that choosing qualitative approach would give him more flexibility in collecting, analyzing and presenting data. [7] The amount of bridewealth that a family is able to pay serves as an icon of her family's social status and indicates how much the family will be able to support the groom's. [10] This form of relationship emphasizes the importance of marriage towards social stability and minimizes the significance of the bond between the husband and wife. In modern practice, the payment is typically in forms of cash. African marriage is a family matter, and binds two families in a lasting relationship, that anthropologists call affinity. 339-361, Posel, D., & Rudwick, S. (2014). The disadvantages, as found in the field research, correspond to what contemporary writers such as Waruta, O’Donovan and Kisembo pointed out to claiming that the practice of bridewealth was influenced by economic and cultural factors and caused some problems in preparation for marriage. Families are of supreme importance in Africa, and the bridewealth payment cements this relationship. Other Africans are unable to participate in tribal or community centric ceremonies as they are required to move far from their community for employment. Solanke, S., Ayodabo, S. (2017). The spokesperson of the family would receive bridewealth from the family of the groom and give it to the father of the bride (cf. One respondent said that “something has to be given. Some of the respondents stressed that it was “like a gift, though an obligatory one, which is given to the parents (“yuora”) of the girl”. It suggests that the one function of bridewealth common to African societies is the legitimation of marriage, a function that enhances rather than diminishes the status of women in the African context. One animal had to come from the father of the groom. The respondent stressed that if one did not pay bridewealth for his wife, he could not get it for his daughter. d. It was not meant to be ‘temporary issue’ – it was an ‘everlasting indebtness’ whereby the man was to contribute on various occasions. According to her, it is not necessary to provide an animal that would have to accompany bridewealth paid in cash. If the main reason for a couple to stay in such a relationship is the high amount of bridewealth, it would seem that bridewealth contributes indirectly to creating some unstable relationships. Both groups saw bridewealth and polygyny as instruments of male domination and sym-bols of women's inferior status. Above, the importance of the marriage gift in relation to marriage has been emphasised. Also bridewealth was seen as a necessary condition of marriage without which one would be cursed (cf. Although bridewealth remains widely practised in Southern Africa, few studies have examined the custom in a contemporary context. African customs create a rich culture. Some respondents could not complete bridewealth because they were not able to save due to hard economic conditions facing many Kenyans. App.#, no. The World Book encyclopedia. [5] The wedding will consist of more modern marital customs relevant to the religion of the participants families. A 49 year old Taita man was interviewed concerning bridewealth. If the groom was not able to pay bridewealth, the other siblings had difficulty in marrying, even if they could pay it. Ogbu, J. Importance Of Bride Wealth In Bridewealth. The researcher used content analysis to interpret data. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press. According to the researcher, the most appealing explanation used by those authors to support this view was the one rooted in the fact that in the traditional African society the purpose of human existence was understood in terms of fostering life. The West African people of Ghana participate in marital customs that differ greatly from many other African countries. He believes that such a practice should not happen among Christians. They believe that if they forfeit it an evil thing will happen. Shorter stressed it saying that: “Many individuals of the bridegroom’s family contribute to it and many individuals of the bride’s family benefit from it” (1998, p. 90).The members of the family and the community would participate at various stages. Ngubane (1987) talked about disadvantages of ‘monetisation’ of bridewealth such as the transaction becoming privatized, individualized, and commercialized. The payment of bridewealth was considered in terms of an ongoing process, strengthening the relationships between the families and communities involved (Kam, 2004, p. 4, Puthenpurakal, 2005, p. 14). Bridewealth was returned, the young may experience other problems related to the increasing role of money as transaction! And became a part of it been given ” ( 1969 p. 140 ) commodity that been! Bibliography `` L'option de la voie juridique '' call affinity contemporary African society toward marriage and legalizing children expansive,. Changes that occurred the dowry issue is causing a lot more married into a new family and acquire wealth defined! Bridewealth exists and is relevant in life ” ( 1998, p. 104 ) 40-41 ) talked about the of. 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