Virtual Kollage: The processes through which marriage is contracted

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The processes through which marriage is contracted


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THE PROCESSES THROUGH WHICH MARRIAGE IS TRADITIONALLY CONTRACTED
Definition of marriage
Marriage can be described as a union between a man and woman to live together as husband and wife, after they have gone through all the processes or rites that are recognized by the families of both parties. The marriage is a bond between two families and sometimes even after the marriage is broke, the bond is not completely severed.

STEP ONE
Declaration of the intention to marry
In the traditional settings, when a boy becomes a man, he is expected to get married. When the boy makes up his mind to get married, he informs his parents about it. One method is for the parents to look for a bride from among the many good girls available. The other way is for the man to look for a woman and inform his parents.

STEP TWO
Background check
In the case where the parents choose for the man, they must have done background checks on the girl to see if she is suitable for their son. If on the other hand it was the man who made the choice, the parents go behind the public scenes, and investigate the background of the woman. They especially, look for diseases in the family that could be detrimental to the welfare of their son, such as, mental disorder, epilepsy, etc. Once they are satisfied, they inform the girl’s parents about their intention to take their daughter in marriage to their son.

STEP THREE
Knocking the door
Parents of both the man and the woman, having satisfied themselves with the family their wards are moving into, set a date for the man’s family to present an introductory fee to the woman’s family. In most traditional societies in Ghana, this involves the presentation of two bottles of whisky or local liquor. Among the Ewes in Ghana especially, the man is not part of this visit. The sister of the man’s father, uncles and others elders are sent to knock on the door. If the woman’s parents accept the drink, then officially, courtship has stated between the man and the woman. They then give out a list of items that would form the bride price. The drinks request could also be rejected but where it is rejected, the man’s people are not allowed to take the drinks away, they are left there.

STEP FOUR
Presentation of bride-wealth
After the man has procured the list of items proposed by the woman’s family as the bride-wealth, the stage is set for the presentation. A day is set for the man’s family to present the bride-wealth to the bride’s family. This is usually association with public ceremony. In the past, this bride-wealth was presented in the public, but today, a few members from both families are nominated to go and review the bride-wealth and see whether it is up to date. They now come back to report whether every requirement has been met. Once the bride-wealth has been accepted, the couple has become husband and wife.

STAGE FIVE
Taking the bride home
After the presentation ceremony, the Aunties of the woman, in the company of other women and family members now take the bride to the home of the groom amid drumming, dancing and merry-making.

SAMPLE QUESTION(S)
1. Discuss the processes that a man has to go through when he decides to get married.

ALSO READ:
Some important reasons why people get married
Why the bride-wealth s important in traditional marriages











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