Ancient dating rituals
The wedding rituals are somewhat different though depending on the woman’s situation.While the never-married virgins must be courted for a year following the fair, but widows and divorcees are permitted to start their new married lives the day they meet a man that “suits their fancy”.Over a seven day period in late August to early September, during the Umhlanga ceremony also known as the Reed Dance, young unmarried girls between the ages of 10 and 18 years come out and parade themselves before the king.Understandably in western culture that would be a big no-no I suppose, but actually, among the Swazi, it is believed that it is part of the reigning king’s duties to take on and support as many wives as possible.Before the bride goes to her new husband’s home, she will receive some going-away presents from her family that will help her set up her new home.Gifts include clothes, jewelry, a calabash, and more.The elders will then collectively decide if the wedding is to be or not to be.
Following is a quick run-down of some wedding rituals that are practiced across the continent.
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Either a man selects a bride and pays her father a bride price or…
a woman gets to choose the man she wants to be her husband.
While the girls are dancing, the king will drop his shield in front of the ones whose dancing he likes or whose beauty catches his eye.