The African marriage rites are very important to the African peoples. The marriage rites are followed strictly and are very traditional. Marriage is the beginning of new life and when two people become one.
In African Traditional Religion, marriage is a cherished fecundity and is intended for procreation. Marriage involves not only interpersonal relations but also intercommunity relations. The survival of kinship in the social structure depends on marriage; marriage always establishes very strong bonds between the individuals belonging to different families and clans, especially when children are born.
When a community seeks out a wife or a son-in-law, they look for one that lives up to their expectations. A person with good moral qualities, industrious in physical work, respectful towards their elders and a good reputation. Physical attractiveness doesn’t matter as much as the community’s expectations. Fertility is the central requirement in marriage. There would be less of a chance of proposal if a woman or a woman in her family were suspected of being barren. Other things that might slow down the wedding process includes witchcraft, impotence, sterility, bad reputation…etc. The purpose of marriage is the social reproduction of the kinship group.
The entire community, including living and deceased, are involved in the marriage process. There are certain rituals and taboos that must be observed in regard to marriage. Respect of in-laws and the observance of distance between in-laws, just to name a few. Prayers and sacrifices are offered to the ancestors on behalf of the groom and the bride. Fertility and healthy deliveries are prayed for. A marriage ceremony takes place over a certain period of time. Marriage in African Traditional Religions isn’t simply saying a few words. Marriage is a step by step process taken on by the entire community. Several ceremonies and rituals are preformed over time and at differ...