Marriage is the legally or formally recognized union of two people as partners in a personal relationship (historically and in some jurisdictions specifically a union between a man and a woman). As for how our culture presents itself, that's the same way marriage and its actions differ from one culture to the next. In some tribes, traditional marriages might not be the custom to go through, but to others, it serves as an important practice which if not performed would mean that the parties in question are not married.
There are certain procedures one must go through before getting married and in this article, you will read about the Ghanaian engagement list among the Ewes. In the ewe setting, the couple both have some obligations to perform and among these are procedures which come with the traditional engagement list presentation. The list differs depending on the particular tribe and family from which the lady comes. A list of items is usually given to the groom-to-be. Marrying from an ewe family, the man has to pay for the bride price and this usually comes with a list. This list is commonly made up of, but not limited to the following:
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- Schnapps 2 Bottles (Foreign One)
- Gin 1 Bottle
- Soft drinks 1 crate
- Cash GH ¢100
Ghana traditional Marriage List among ewes
- Engagement Ring and Holy Bible
- 6 Half pieces of Cloth (Real Wax)
- 6 pieces of Head Gear (Scarf)
- 2 Pair of Sandals and 2 Pair of Shoes (with Bag each)
- Ecolac bag (Big One)
- 2 sets of jewellery and wrist watches
- 12 underwear
- 6 night wears
- 6 Brassiere
- Lady waist beads and 1 traditional pant(Very Important)
- 1 Catholic hymnal
- GH¢ 600
- 2 Bottles of schnapps (Foreign One)
- 1 Bottle of Dry Gin
- 1 Bottle of Dubonette
- 1 Bottle of whisky
- 1 Bottle of Akpeteshie
- 1 Pot of Palm wine or GH¢ 30
- 2 Cartons of Beer
- 2 Crates of Soft drinks
- 2 Crates of Malt
- Father In-Law GH¢ 250
- Half a piece of Cloth (Real Wax) for Mother-In-Law (with Head Gear and Sandals)
- 1 Full Piece of Cloth (Real Wax) for Father-In-Law (with 1 Sandals)
- Family GH¢100
- Thank You GH¢ 50
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Thanksgiving - This can be in the form of a sum of money or a crate of drinks given to the bride’s family members who are present at the ceremony. This is to thank them for coming to the ceremony and agreeing for their daughter to be given away. This list can vary from family to family, not all families request for all these items.
Traditional marriage under the law is a complete marriage ceremony, this is so because marriage goes through the legal process which is through the court also known as the customary marriage in Ghana. There three types of marriages in Ghana namely; the traditional marriage, the customary marriage, and church marriage. After the traditional marriage, the church marriage follows after which the customary marriage is done. This happens when the couple want all three forms of marriages.
The traditional marriage of Ghanaians, isn't a promise but rather a complete action which is backed by law and traditions. Now, let's look at the procedures one goes through before getting engaged among the ewes. Among the eyes, the first process is the KNOCKING which is done to make formal, the relationship between the to-be groom and bride. This is known in the Ewe language as ‘vɔƒoƒo’ . Here, the family of the to-be groom go to the to-be bride’s parents to ask formally for her hand in marriage.
Among the Ewes, when a man is ready to marry, he must present a pot of palm wine to the girl’s father and this must be done by the man’s paternal and maternal aunts in order to inform the girl’s parents of their intentions to marry their daughter. After this, the messengers from the to-be groom are asked to come after a week or two for the answer. This period allows them time to consider the request and to make underground investigations about the man and his family. After the investigation is over and the girl’s parents are satisfied with the man’s conduct and background, they allow them to perform the necessary marriage rites.
For this, two bottles of locally brewed gin are offered to the bride's family by the to-be groom in appreciation which is known as ‘vɔlenu’ or the knocking fee. As soon as the people of the groom- to-be people learn of the acceptance of their request, preparations fully start by gathering the marriage payments that is the ‘Srɔnu’ and when it is ready, the groom’s paternal and maternal aunts carry it to the bride’s parents for inspection. In a case of insufficiency, the gifts are rejected by the bride's family.
After this process is done, the marriage is now concluded by giving the marriage payment and a performing of certain ceremonies which is also viewed to be important for the establishment of a legal union of which the bride is formally handed to the groom’s parents. Another important thing is the consummation of the marriage, known as the ‘ɖoɖoabadzi’.
Now the final process that is the formal handing over of the bride to the groom which is a short ceremony where both parents give a short advice and encouragement to the couple is followed by the affirmation by both the bride and groom of their readiness to marry. This stage takes place in the bride’s father's house. Before the bride joins her husband, a short prayer is said to the ancestors asking for their blessings for the couple. After the prayer, the bride is taken away by the husband’s aunts accompanied by her own aunts.
On her arrival, she is warmly received by the bridegroom's father. Here, the couple is advised again to live peacefully. After this, the family head pours libation, asking for a successful marriage. On the day of the ceremony, the man is expected to bring along some peas locally called "Cantonese”
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Ghana engagement dresses
As a matter of fact, the cloth has come a long way. From merely covering up the body, now clothes are worn to speak the mood of the occasion. In Ghana and all over the world, engagement wears have become a thing. Other than dressing for the occasion, different people have taken upon themselves to wear these clothes to test out their different creativity levels. When it comes to Ghana engagement dress styles, your options are basically endless. Below are some of the common and most trendy dress styles you should check out first in 2018! Ghana Engagement dress styles in Ghana
When it comes to engagement dress styles in Ghana, the first item on your list should be the African print. The African print has become a major fashion wear in Ghana that it is almost next to impossible to find any Ghanaian fashion picture that lacks this cloth design. Two distinctive features that make the African print design stand out in Ghana and more so in the wedding industry the bold colours it comes with and the complex prints it has. When choosing the African print dress for your engagement event, it is always advisable that you go for a dress with a unique and seamless pattern which has colors that complement the clothing.
Again, when it comes to Ghanaian engagement dresses, your list won’t be complete if it does not contain the Kaba dress design in it. Classy is an understatement when it comes to describing this elegant dress design. Depending on your preferences, there are some many fun dress design options to try out with the Kaba design. The other big win with this design is that you are able to match this engagement dress and hairstyle to your different jewelleries thus, making you stand out as the most elegant lady in the room.
One thing you need to know with Ankara designs is that they never disappoint! From simple casual wear designs to elegant and sophisticated designs such as those for engagements, you will never go wrong with Ankara designs. Ghanaian engagement ceremonies are always full of colour and glam. In order to match up to these standards, you need to ensure that you yourself have the best outfit for the occasion. Make your statement bold and clear with your outfit. In addition to this, you need also to choose one that communicates the mood of the occasion. The above list from African print to Ankara dresses will you communicate this effectively.
Marriage is a union between two people, which is backed by law and from the above, we can see how the Ewes in the Volta Region perform their marriage rites and what they request for before giving out their children in marriage. Leave your comments in the section below.