A wedding is one of the most enjoyable events you can ever attend. The joy that comes with a union between two families is immeasurable. Wedding ceremonies vary with culture especially in Africa where we have diverse culture. Nigeria is blessed with so many tribes. Broadly speaking we have about three major ethnical groups – Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo. However, we have about five hundred and twenty-seven different languages. The various tribes have different ways of celebrating weddings but my focus today would be Hausa weddings.
Growing up in the north has exposed me to the beautiful Hausa culture and their weddings are quite interesting. A lot of us that are conversant with this culture will know that Hausa weddings can last a week because they are filled with many different fun-filled activities, especially from the bride’s end.
For those not so conversant with the culture, at least we must have heard some gist about the royal wedding of the year – Yusuf Buhari and Zarah Ado Bayero. It made the headlines of every newspaper for weeks earlier this year. It was indeed a beautiful one that was graced by a lot of dignitaries from within and outside Nigeria.
So, let’s talk a little bit about Hausa weddings. Listed below are the different activities a Hausa wedding entail:
Kayan Zance (Bride Price)
Once the wedding proposal has been accepted by the bride’s family, the groom’s family presents some items to the bride’s family. This includes but is not limited to cooking wares, beauty products, atamfa (fabrics), shoes, cash, perfume, jewelry, veils etc. A lot of you might be surprised, but in Hausa culture, it is the bride’s family that furnishes the house.
Daurin Aure (Wedding Solemnization)
This is when the exchange of vows is done and the bride and groom are pronounced man and wife.
Sa Lalle (Henna Application)
This event is strictly for ladies. It is the process when the bride and her friend adorn themselves with henna. Although the design for the bride is usually more beautiful and elaborate. It is an opportunity for the bride to spend time with her female friends and family members before she departs for her husband’s house.
Kamun Amarya (Catch the bride)
For the bride’s final release, the groom’s family negotiates with the bride’s friend. The dialogue could last till they reach an agreement before the bride is released. The groomsmen can also come in to beg for the bride’s release to their friends.
Kai Amarya (Escorting the bride)
This is when the bride’s family and friends escort her to her matrimonial home where they are received by the groom’s family. This is another celebration on its own and can be referred to as the wedding reception.
On arrival at the groom’s, the bride comes covered in a veil and can only be unveiled by her husband.
Hausa weddings are usually very interesting, but whenever you intend to attend one, do ensure you have a whole week to spare to enjoy every bit of the event.