5 African-Inspired Wedding Traditions | Feso Adeniji

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We may have tribal wedding traditions in Nigeria, each of them important and unique in their own right but how much do we know about other African- inspired traditions around the world? Thinking of marrying an African- American or even a Ghanaian? Here are five African- inspired wedding traditions you should know about:

Jumping The Broom
This tradition involves the couple jumping over decorated brooms immediately after affirming their vows to show that all past problems have been swept away. It originated from the slave trade era where African-Americans were forbidden to marry; it became a public declaration of the couple’s vow to stay together regardless of their circumstances. These beautifully decorated brooms are usually kept as wedding memoirs and displayed in the couple’s home.

Tying The Knot
Some tribes promote tying of the couple’s wrist together with a cloth or interwoven grass to signify their public union. The use of kente and cowry shells signify fertility and prosperity while having the wrists tied by a close friend or family member and proclaiming vows.

Crossing Sticks
This tradition also dates back to the African- American slave trade era which involves crossing two wooden sticks which represent the strength and life.Large branches from special places or family homes are used for the wedding ceremony and signify a grounded beginning to the marriage.

Knocking The Door
In the Ghanaian tradition, the groom knocks on the door of his future in-laws’ family while bearing gifts alongside other members of his family. If the in-laws open the door, he is said to have been accepted into the family, and the wedding planning commences with a celebratory meal and bonding time.

Libation Ceremony
This ceremony is usually incorporated into the weddings of African- American couples who wish to invoke wisdom and guidance of late elders in a family. Holy water or alcohol is poured on the ground, in the direction of the cardinal points and names of recently deceased called out and included in prayers.

Do you think the non-Nigerian traditions will make a mark in this part of the world or are you open to participating in such traditions as a result of an inter-African marriage? Feel free to share your experience with us!

Written by Feso Adeniji

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