Many often confuse the Fulani and Hausa cultures as one and the same but truth be told, they are very different.
Did you know that the Fulani clan pair up for marriage according to their caste? They operate the kind of system used by Indians and some Middle East countries. This simply means, the rich lookout for the rich vice versa. You marry within your caste which then determines how elaborate the nuptial would be.
In the Fulani culture, there are three stages that constitute the ceremony. Here are things to expect when invited to one.
The ‘Sharo’ stage: it is the public flogging of the groom to test his strength. If the groom cries, he would not be allowed to marry the bride and would be seen by all as a coward and weak. However, this is only common amidst the lower-class caste and not the rich.
The ‘Koowgal’ stage: this is the most crucial. The bride’s father pays the groom’s father visits with a herd of cattle to formally legalize the union. The groom’s family in turn present gifts to the bride’s father which is called the ‘Sadaq’.
The Sadaq is a compulsory aspect of the marriage, it connotes that the groom is committed to shouldering all the family expenses and that of the wife to be. Once this is out of the way, it is believed that the marriage is done.
The ‘Kabbal’ stage basically consists of prayer and Islamic attributions. The twosome does not necessarily need to be in attendance when this is carried out.
When this is over, it is time to be merry, enjoy some nice local food, and party. One of the dances at a Fulani wedding is “Tumudi”. It is danced by a group of young women. The music for this dance is performed on various wind instruments and drums, like the ‘Gungun’.
As the party draws to a close, a ritual called the Bangal is performed. This is when there is a collective acceptance of the movement of the bride to her husband’s house or village.
The bride must be adorned in brace ornaments. It is pertinent that she wears them on her hands between four to six months into the marriage. During this time, the youngest woman in the groom’s home attends to all her needs.
And this is how it is completed by the Fulani’s.
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