Marriage Trivia

These are just some interesting bits of African marriage trivia that I have found. I’ll be adding more as I learn, and of course, I welcome any additional bits of trivia from you if you have any.

  • In some South African tribes, the parents of both the bride and the groom will carry fire from their own homes to light the first fire in the new couples’ house. This symbolizes the fire of a new union and a new family.
  • Cowrie shells are believed to promote fertility; they are used to make earrings, necklaces, decorative clothing and bridal headpieces.
  • Ochre-colored (red) clay is applied to the skin by some Africans because it is believed that it “awakens love”.
  • In some parts of West Africa, fattening rooms are used to pamper the bride-to-be and plumpen/fatten her up before marriage. This is done to make her more attractive and desirable to her future husband. It is believed that a plumper, more voluptuous bride is more fertile and more attractive.
  • In many countries across the continent, the knot is tied…literally. By wrapping a leather strip or a piece of twine, cord or vine around the couples’ wrists, waists, or hands. The knot symbolizes the binding of the two in matrimony.
  • In some cultures the brides are decorated with henna to beautify them before the wedding ceremony.

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