Ghanaian engagement list for Akans traditional marriage

Ghanaian engagement list for Akans traditional marriage

The Akans customary marriage has strict policies and regulations that the couple-to-be and their families must respect. It is taboo for the parties preparing an Akans traditional marriage to ignore the Ghanaian engagement list. The Akan list for engagement comprises items that a man must give the bride's family before the marriage ceremony takes place.

Ghanaian engagement list
An African couple wearing matching Ankara outfits. Photo: @ankaracouplestyles
Source: Instagram

The Ghanian law recognizes three types of marriages, customary (traditional), Islamic (religious), and ordinance (civil) union. The 1985 Customary Marriage and Divorce Law legalizes the Akans' customary marriage. However, conservative Akan couples perform Ghanian traditional marriage rites called awareɛ followed by civil or religious marriages.

List for Ghanaian engagement items

Items needed for the knocking ceremony in Ghana depend on the tribe's customs and what the bride's parents/family wants. Akans have several subtribes like the Agona, Ashanti, and Bono, and each subtribe conforms to specific items for engagement.

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Is there a bride price in Ghana? The Akan dowry and other engagement requirements bond and create mutual respect between the bride and groom's families. So, what are the items needed for engagement? Here is a sample of a Ghanaian engagement list:

  1. The dowry/ bride price.
  2. Head drinks, usually a Gin, whiskey, palm wine or wine.
  3. A minimum of 6 pieces of traditional wax print and exotic jewellery for the bride.
  4. A suitcase packed with more clothes, shoes, and other female items the lady requests.
  5. Money, Ankara male clothes, and a bottle of whiskey for the bride's father.
  6. Money, African print clothes, and a pair of sandals for the lady's mother.
  7. Money for the bride to invest in a business.
  8. An engagement ring.
  9. An engagement Bible.
  10. Akontasekan (money) for the bride's brothers or male cousins if she is the only daughter.
  11. Cooking utensils for the bride to use in her new home.
  12. Enough food and drinks for the wedding guests.

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Ghanaian engagement list
A couple posing for a photo on their traditional wedding day. Photo: @Simon Maina
Source: Getty Images

Akans traditional marriage in Ghana

The Akan marriage system resembles the marriage practices of many African communities. Therefore, the enlisted items in the marriage list in Ghana for Akans are relatively similar to what many African communities expect a man to offer to the lady's family.

A man follows several steps before a traditional Akan marriage takes place. First, he identifies an Akan woman he wants to marry and informs his family. Then, his family sends a messenger to the lady's Akan family to fix a date for them to visit her home and the meeting's agenda.

The lady's father sends a messenger to the man's family to inform them of the meeting date. The families then meet to discuss their children's marital union. The first stage in the traditional marriage is the kɔkɔɔ kɔ. It means the knocking ceremony in Ghana.

The knocking ceremony

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Ghanaian engagement list
Women and girls singing for the bride. Photo: @Siegfried Modola
Source: Getty Images

What is a Ghanaian knocking? The knocking ceremony is knocking on the bride's family's door before entering the house. The man's parents or his senior uncles accompany him to the bride's home. They represent his entire extended Akan family at the occasion and express their son's intention to marry the lady.

Back in the days, people performed the knocking ceremony a week or two before the wedding date. Today, both events take place on the same day. The man's people visit the lady's family with specific items for the event. Items needed for the knocking ceremony in Ghana include two bottles of wine, money, and kola nuts.

The man's Akan family offers the lady's family tiri nsa, which are head drinks. Traditionally, head drinks were two bottles of palm wine, but men can bring Schnapps or whiskey nowadays. Others top up money and more gifts to the drinks.

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Once the woman's Akan family accepts gifts, they have formally consented to the marriage with or without the lady's consent. However, some families would seek the lady's opinion before taking the gifts and drinks.

The families fix the wedding date and the bride's family. The Ghanaian engagement list among the Akans comes in at this stage. The woman's Akan family presents it to the man's family on the same day they have performed the knocking ceremony.

Ghanaian engagement list
Men performing a traditional dance at a wedding. Photo: @Majority World
Source: Getty Images

After receiving the Akan engagement list, the man's family returns home to prepare for the wedding ceremony. Both families can adjust the marriage list after discreetly consulting each other. Traditionally, the bride was not allowed to voice her opinions about the Akan marriage list.

Today, ladies choose their grooms; hence they know their men's financial capabilities. Therefore, it is advisable for the bride to review the Akan engagement list to ensure nothing is missing and her family stop them from making unnecessary demands.

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Who takes the bride price in Ghana? The groom's family presents the dowry to the bride's parents. However, the dowry is an extended Akan family affair. The parents share it with specific extended family members like the lady's uncles.

Ghanaian engagement list for Akans traditional marriage can be financially overwhelming to the groom and his family, but for a good reason. The bride's family requests these things to ensure that the man is mature and financially stable enough to take care of their daughter and future children.

Yen.com.gh shared vital information about Bono East Region's districts, towns, tribes, languages, culture. Understanding this region is essential if you are a foreigner planning to visit the country soon. You will easily blend into the Bono people's culture and enjoy your stay.

The region has some of the fastest growing towns in the country, and the people are loving, kind, and friendly. Furthermore, Bono's communities host breathtaking cultural festivals that you should attend.

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