Posted by / Thursday 18 May 2023 / No comments

What are the beliefs associated with Ghanaian traditional marriage?



The act of marriage can be found in every culture including many cultures in Ghana. In other words, marriage is a universal institution. This practice has been there for many centuries. In many Ghanaian societies, traditional marriage is an important part of the culture. It is grounded in their religious and social beliefs. In order to have a sound understanding of the culture of many tribes in Ghana, it is important to understand the beliefs related to it. In this article, we will discuss the beliefs associated with traditional marriage.


Marriage is a sacred union

Marriage is considered a sacred union and highly respected in Ghana due to its strong cultural and religious ties. In Ghanaian culture, marriage is seen as a lifelong commitment between couples and is a way to honour the union of two families. It is also seen as a way to strengthen the bond between two people, and to create a safe and secure home. Additionally, marriage is highly respected in Ghana because it is a religious covenant between two people, and is seen as a reflection of God’s love. Marriage is seen as a way to honour God, and to demonstrate a commitment to Him as well as each other. Ultimately, marriage is seen as a sacred union in Ghana because it is the foundation of a strong and stable family.

A union between a man and a woman

One of the beliefs associated with marriage in Ghana is that it is a union between a man and a woman. This is because the cultural values of the people lay emphasis on the importance of family as the primary unit of the society. It is believed, traditionally, that a man and a woman complement each other and that marriage provides the bedrock of a stable family unit and society. Marriage provides an avenue for the society to procreate and perpetuate the population of the people unto infinity. Marriages are expected to produce children. From this point of view, same sex marriage is not traditionally non-Ghanaian and therefore frowned upon.

Divorce is unacceptable

In Ghanaian societies, divorce is something that is generally accepted. No matter how difficult the marriage has become, the enders try so much to prevent divorce. The cultural belief is that divorce disrupts the family unit. If divorce occurs, it is regarded as a failure, on the part of the couple, to uphold the vows they took at the time of the marriage. The only time when divorce is accepted is after all other attempts have failed and there is no other way of making the couple stay together as husband and wife.

It creates and strengthen bonds between families

Another belief underlying traditional marriage in Ghana is that, it establishes a bond between two families, the family of the man and that of the woman. In the past, marriages were contracted between families that have known each other for several years and sometimes it is not uncommon to see marriage between two closely related families. Today, because of urbanization, people meet far away from home and even marry people from other tribes. Even then, time is taken to know at least the immediate families at the initial stages and then subsequent efforts are made to know other members of the family, starting from the day of the marriage ceremonies, where all family people are introduced.

A recipe for strong and healthy families

Marriage is also seen as a social institution, able to provide a foundation for strong, healthy families. It also provides a secure environment for children. It also creates a secure, loving environment for children, where they can feel safe and loved, and can flourish, both emotionally and academically.

Women are expected to be submissive to their husbands

Traditionally, men are considered as the breadwinners of the traditional Ghanaian home. For this reason, the men are expected to provide for the home and to meet the needs of the family. Women, on the other hand, are expected to be in charge of domestic duties of the house and they have been expected to be trained by their mothers for this role in the society. Women are therefore traditionally expected to submit to their husbands. Today, the dynamics have changed, because women are now able to work and able to contribute meaningfully, towards the upkeep of the home and men are increasingly able to help in doing the chores at home.

Polygamy is acceptable

In Ghanaian traditional marriage, men are allowed to marry two or more women. In the olden days, the man was expected to at least inform the wife about his intentions to marry a second woman. Polygamy is therefore an accepted norm. Today, the law allows the husband, who did not marry under the Ordinance Law, to take a second or even third wives.

Premarital sex is a taboo

In ancient times, before modernity, couples were expected to abstain from sex until they were married. The were elaborate ceremonies to usher young girls into puberty, to indicate to the society that the girls have attained the age where they could be taken as brides. Part of the ceremony required the girls to have been proven as virgins. It was taboo to find that a girl had known a man before she was given in marriage.


Traditional beliefs in marriage is a well-established thing in Ghana. Marriage is a sacred union between two families. The beliefs associated with traditional marriage, like the importance of respecting elders, celebrating with family, and upholding the values of honesty and loyalty, help to enrich the experience of the union and bring a meaningful sense of community and belonging to the couple. These beliefs, along with the rituals and customs of the traditional marriage ceremony, make it a cherished and beloved part of Ghanaian culture.

Also Read:

The importance of traditional marriage in Ghana

Why is it important to marry

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