African Weddings – Tasting of The Four Elements

My name is Santiago and I am doing some research (as a wedding officiant) about a ritual called, "The Tasting of the Elements," or "Tasting the 4 Elements". It's widely claimed on the internet that this originated as a Yoruban wedding tradition, but I really cannot substantiate that. Most claims stem from a blog article that was written by theKnot a few years ago (https://www.theknot.com/content/african-afrocentric-wedding-traditions). Do you have any primary sources that indicate that this ritual is indeed a Yoruban ritual, or even an African one? Thank you. Your help is appreciated.

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Response:

Hello Santiago,

I am very familiar with the Tasting of the Four Elements as it is described in the article. This tradition is practiced by the Yorubas and some other West African tribes that are thought to have migrated around the Western Coast of the continent.

Unfortunately, I cannot direct you to any written documentation that verifies that this tradition originated in Yorubaland as a lot African history is passed down verbally and most sources I reference are elders from various countries and tribes who are familiar with the roots of the traditions as they have been passed told to them by those who came before them.

I wish I could be more helpful.