THE HAUSA CULTURAL MARRIAGE

Posted by on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 Under: Fashion, Tradition & Culture


The Hausa people are located in the Northern part of Nigeria and having the highest number of states in the country. The Hausa cultural marriage is rooted in Islamic doctrines and marital patterns, since most of the Northern tribes of Nigeria are Muslims.

It starts with an introduction which is initiated when the groom’s family and his close family friends go to visit the bride’s family. This first process is brief, not time consuming and less expensive. Investigation would then be made underground by the bride’s parents concerning the background, moral ethics and religious believe before the groom is permitted to visit the bride afterwards. At the introduction ceremony the groom makes his intentions known formally to the bride’s family by presenting gift items like Kolanut fruits, candies and chocolates, while in some cases bags of salt are inclusive. Also the dowry or bride price (Lobola) is bargained for during this period “starting from the minimum of what the Hausas call “Rubu Dinar”’ Its an Arabic phrase translated as “quarter kilogram of a gold piece to the highest amount the man can afford”, as noted in an article by Fatsuma Musa Mugaji in www.weddingtrendy.com.

According to the Hausa tradition a man is not permitted to see the bride for a longtime after their introduction to avoid any physical or romantic contact, basically courtship before marriage is not encouraged in this tribe. As most young Hausa ladies get married as virgins. It is also on this day, that the proper wedding dialogue begins and the date of the wedding is agreed upon. The setting of the date is called “Sa rana” by a delegation of both families.

Gathering from www.ourweddingstorynigeria.com tittled “Marriage and my Tradition: Taking a wife in Hausa Land”. It is part of the Hausa culture for the groom to provide a house for the couple while the bride’s family has full responsibility of furnishing the house, especially her room, living room and the kitchen. All these are done before the wedding proper. The wedding day is usually referred to as FATIHAH. That is the day in which there is a solemnization of the two families and payment of SADAKI the dowry. Traditionally, the women folk aren’t expected at the wedding Fatihah and they usually never are present. Instead the women are indoors busy at the KUNSHI preparing the bride for her final moment as a spinster and new beginnings as a wife. The kunshi is a ceremony just like a bride shower where the older women apply generous amount of perfume and scented flowers on the bride, lalei (henna) is applied on the arms and feet of the bride and her friends. It serves as a form of decoration as flowers and other intriguing designs are drawn.

Depending on the families involved, a walimah wedding reception is held after the wedding. Fatihah, it’s a whole day’s ceremony with food and drinks and merriment for the family, friends and other well wishers. After all has been said and done, the bride is taken to her husband’s house after series of admonishments from both parents, aunts, uncles and even her new parents-in-laws. It’s known as Kai Amarya meaning “conveyance of the bride”.

All in all, the Hausa Nikkah is usually a graceful and fun-filled ceremony with so many activities involved.

Nothing can compare to witnessing this traditional system of marriage in real life for non-Hausa looking to marry into the tribe.


In : Fashion, Tradition & Culture 



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