“Da bi meye wo me yere”
Simply put “One day I’ll make you my wife”
So the day finally arrives when a Ghanaian man comes to the realisation that the woman he is dating is the one that he wants to spend the rest of his life with.
He proposes to his sweetheart & the lucky lady says “Yes”
Before the happy couple even get to the altar, the elders within the family will advise them that they are required to perform the traditional wedding rites.
The traditional ceremony is a necessary common rite of marriage for all Ghanaian couples. In Ghana today, some couples perform this alone as a marriage ceremony, however, most couples also go on to perform the western wedding in a church in addition to the traditional marriage ceremony.
“Sounds simple enough, but Ghanaian’s will attest to the fact that if the lucky lady in question has said “yes” that this is only the start.”
First comes “The knocking” (kokooko) on the door ceremony, this is the process of the groom visits the home of his bride to be (with the purpose of formally announcing their wedding plans) with representatives from his family. This could be anyone from his parents to a senior uncle within the family.
Often times this ceremony is performed a week or two before the actual marriage ceremony. The knocking (“kookooko”) is derived from the Ghanaian tradition of knocking at the entrance of a house before entering as a visitor.
For the knocking ceremony the groom’s family brings along two bottles of Schnapps (alcoholic drinks), some money and cola to the house to present to the bride’s family. In the past, and to date, the drinks are used to pour libation. (Libation is a traditional form of prayer to the ancestral spirits and God).
When the drinks are presented, a designated spokesman from the groom’s delegation formally asks the bride’s family for permission to enter the house and announce their intentions. If the drinks are accepted then it means permission has been granted to the visitors to state their intentions. The spokesperson will then explain in the most lyrical language, that the groom, has seen a “beautiful flower” in the house of the bride’s family that he desires and would like to “uproot” that flower, not steal, from its keeper, hence they are here to ask for the brides hand in marriage and inquire about what is required in order to make that flower his own.
Once the intentions are announced, the bride’s family may ask the groom and his family to come back at a later date during which the bride’s family will investigate the grooms family background further to see:a) If the family has no chronic illness or genetic disabilities in the family b) If the family has a good reputation, that there are no immediate family members such as a sibling, an aunt or uncle who is known to be a thief, prostitute or murderer c) If the groom has any illegitimate children or is already married to someone else etc.
d) If the groom is of good character and well matched to the bride
Come back Saturday at 09:00am GMT to read PART 3…
By Caroline Mensah