Elimu Asilia

Kenya's Indigenous Knowledge


The bridegroom is accompanied by friends and cousins to come and meets the bride. When they get there, the bride says that he has been sent by his father to come and pay a visit to the village. The father-in-law understands and calls for his daughter to bring some water to the visitors. The bridegroom is not necessarily thirsty but takes the opportunity to make the bride stay there for sometimes so that he can observe her physical features. When contented the bridegroom tells the grandma of the bride that”mautin ni toto”-meaning he is pleased.

The bride and the bridegroom are put in one room so that they can introduce to one another and this is how it goes-: They tell their names first then:”Nidzire haha henu Kwa sababu nidza fahirwa ni nne, je unnambadze?”-I have come to your home because I have a passion for you, what do you say about that? The bride may decide to conceal her feelings-“sidzihisi ma mtu yoyosi mino” I do not feel for anybody. The bridegroom goes on persuading her”Mwanzangu umudzo zhomu ma mahedzu niknhale fukale hammenga siku zosi”My friend you are so cute and I wish I marry you we be together for the rest of our lives. The bride shrugs her shoulders meaning that she has agreed but can say it verbally. The bridegroom stands and hugs the bride then he goes out the house. He tells the grandma that things are okay and they leave. The bride groom tells his parents he is pleased and procedures follow.

The parents of the bridegroom go to the bride to discus dowry. The parents of the bride asks for”ndama”bull and”kadzama mirongomiri na nane”eight liters of liquor (mnazi) that will be sent twenty eight times. A day for giving the bull and the liquor  is planned, the visitors go to the bride and a ceremony is held. This time they take the bride with them. They sing and dance. The main song is”Nangoza mwanangu, dama mwanaanenda, zho kwaatu, anenda kwamulumewee…dede, mudzungu wa utsunguni nau hambale”meaning Iam nursing my daughter dama,the daughter is going to peoples home, to her husband, my dear the cucumber of pain let it spread. “The father in law asks for a blanket as a gift to bless the couple. The mother in-laws for an”mkamba wa kurekeketa mwana”The kanga for carrying the baby. The bride is blessed and asked to agree with all that her husband tells her .The father in law takes water and swirls in his mouth then blows it on the chest of the bride and the bride groom. The mother in law does the same. The bride groom is told that the bride is not a ball for him to beat all the time, he is advised to protect the bride in happiness and in problems.

The visitors leave the home of the bride with a thigh of a goat to the bridegroom’s home. They are supposed to go on foot irrespective of how long it may be. When the couple reaches at the bridegroom’s home, they first enter the house of the bride groom parents. Water is poured on top of the makuti and are asked to come out as it dripples on them. The parents say –“zizimwani mimwiri”let your body relax. The couple then goes to the house of the bride groom, the first day  at the bride grooms home is called”kikutamanina”-shading dews. Several chicken are slaughtered and mnazi is brought a lot for people at home to drink and seep. The bridegroom sleeps at another house while the bride sleeps with her sisters and cousins at the bridegroom’s house. The second day goats are slaughtered and people keeps on celebrating. On the third day, the relatives of the bride go back and leave the village with a goat’s thigh. The couple starts life.

COMPLIED BY: Samson Karisa-MALINDI HIGH SCHOOL
ASSISTED BY: MADAN; SIDI MWAVITA


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