Weird Marital Rites You May Encounter in Africa

In Africa, marriage is scared and is respected. In some parts of Africa, there are marital rites that are strange you may be shocked to witness.  The oddity of some of these rites is what makes marriage exciting where they are practiced.  Over the years, we have seen some of these oddities change but some tribes are still practicing their marital rites regardless of the advent of technological advancement.
Here is a list of strange marital rites carried out by most tribes in Africa:


 Fulani People of Nigeria

The Fulani traditional marriage is done in either three or two stages depending on the tribe’s requirement and preferences. There is the flogging called Sharo, Koowgal a dowry payment and Kabba.

The Suri and the Surma tribes in Ethiopia

The Suri and Surma  men have to fight for the women they want to marry. According to the elders of the land, a Suri man must perform a ritual that involves covering his body and face with clay, and then walk naked while carrying an 8 feet pole–this ceremony is generally referred to as Donga by the natives of this land.


The Wodabee Nation of Niger


Polygamous marriages are common in the Wodabee nation of Niger. Marriages called “coogal” are arranged by parents during couple’s infancy.  You can still get married if you fall in love with a lady. However, it is the groom’s family that will offer the bride’s family a price. It is expected that the groom and bride will live together until she is pregnant. She will have to go back to her parents where she will spend up to four years before returning back, after the husband has completed the rites.


Muslim weddings in Tanzania


The wedding is held during Sawwal, mostly on Sundays.  This is during the 10th month when we count the Islamic calendar.  In Tanzania, the Muslim wedding is highly respected and doesn’t come with strange events except that the bride will have to her Sumo before the wedding. The best friend of the bride’s mum is called a Sumo. She will be the one to follow the bride around and ensure that everything runs smoothly including the bed that the couple will sleep that night.


The Sumo is expected to handle the beautification of the bride with special mixtures that are made of lime and sugar.

This mixture is formulated to remove the body hairs on the bride expect on her hair.  You can imagine the type of ordeal the bride must pass through before she gets married to her husband.


There are other strange marital rites you may never believe happen in Africa. If you are a tourist, you may hardly come across these oddities but if you do, you will not forget them. Each tribe has its special marital rites like the items that are to be presented to the bride’s family before the marriage can be conducted. In some places, the groom must be responsible with money to be able to buy all the things on the bride’s list. However, it is always believed that brides are not to be sold, which means that the groom can buy as much as he can and complete the rest over time.